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What is Legal Deposit

Legal deposit is a statutory provision that requires publishers to lodge copies of their publications with designated libraries. Many of the great libraries of the world, including the Library of Congress and the British Library, are repositories for legal deposit publications.

In South Australia, the legal deposit provisions are encompassed within section 35 of South Australia's Libraries Act 1982. This requires South Australian publishers to deposit a copy of all their publications, including every issue of a periodical or newspaper, free of charge to the State Library and the Parliamentary Library. 

The library also has the authority to claim items from interstate and overseas publishers, whose publications have particular relevance to South Australia.

how to lodge publications

Visit us and drop them at the Information Desk during our open hours.

Electronic publications

Submit a new collection item online

Audio visual and printed publications 

Legal Deposit Collection Development
State Library of SA
PO Box 419
Adelaide SA 5001

Contact Us

Collection Development 

Phone: (08) 8207 7247

Legal deposit FAQs

Who are publishers?

'Publishers’ include commercial publishers, government publishers, schools, societies, organisations, clubs, churches, associations and private individuals. Legal deposit does not apply to authors, retail outlets or printers if they are not also the publisher.

What are publications?

'Publications' are those deemed to be available to the general public either by sale or for free.

Legal deposit applies to printed items such as books, magazines and newspapers and works in any other format including film and video, audio CDs, CD-Roms, websites and any electronic material.

What about commercially available e-Books or online documents? 

The State Library will observe any licensing restrictions required by copyright holders. This may mean that these publications are not accessible outside the State Library for an embargo period, or for the duration of copyright.

How does the State Library archive websites? 

Once permission is obtained, the State Library employs harvesting software that copies material online from a specified seed URL and publishes it to the PANDORA archive. In most cases, the publisher's assistance is not required. 

Newsletters or other information behind a password or 'members-only' section of a website will not be actively sought as they are not considered to be available to the general public. Additionally, this material cannot be accessed via PANDORA from a technical perspective.

Does legal deposit affect copyright?

No. Copyright protection is granted automatically in Australia from the moment a work is created. Creators of works held by the State Library retain their copyright. The State Library provides access under the terms of copyright. See the Australian Copyright Council for author/publisher copyright advice.

My work does not have an ISBN/ISSN. Do I have to lodge it?

Yes. Works with and without ISBNs/ISSNs should be lodged if they are available to the general public. ISBNs/ISSNs are not affilitated with legal deposit or copyright but will aid in the discovery of your material. If you wish to acquire one, contact the ISBN Agency within Thorpe-Bowker.

Can I lodge multiple copies at the State Library

Yes but, as only one is legally required, the other copies will be subject to evaluation. A second copy may be placed in our SA Ready Reference Collection on open access, in any other collection deemed appropriate or will be returned to the donor if not required.

How do I find out about legal deposit titles?

You can subscribe to our RSS feed on new South Australiana resources which lists all the South Australian material added in the last fortnight including legal deposit, donations, and purchased items.

How do I contact the Parliamentary Library of SA?

The Parliamentary Librarian
Parliamentary Library
Parliament House
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8237 9398

Image caption: Infocuz Technologies, La tecnologia de big data revolucionara la seguridad de la informacion, Flickr Creative Commons, viewed 25/3/2014.