May 25, 2022

Australia: Legal Deposit Extended For the National Library

UPDATE July 13, 2015 Report From the Global Legal Monitor/Law Library of Congress: “National Library to Implement Digital Legal Deposit from January 2016”

UPDATE July 3, 2015 Australian electronic books to be preserved at the National Library in Canberra under new laws (via ABC)

From the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee (ALCC):

Physical works published in Australia must, by law, have a copy deposited with the National Library.  This ensures that there is a comprehensive record of Australia’s cultural heritage, preserved for the people of Australia. However since the Act was written in 1968, the format of materials has moved from purely physical form.  Books are now published as e-prints, magazines are delivered directly into inboxes and newspaper articles come with embedded autoplay videos. Unfortunately, the legal deposit legislation had not kept pace with this change.

The changes to the Copyright Act that passed the parliament last week address this gap.


This extension to the Library’s ‘Legal Deposit’ scheme means that the library can now archive Australia’s digital content alongside more traditional published works.  Guidelines as to how people can deposit their works have been developed in conjunction with industry and the Attorney-General’s Department, and we understand they will be published shortly on the National Library Website.


The long-anticipated extension to legal deposit will support the library sector’s web archiving and digital preservation efforts. And hopefully the successful implementation at national level will drive an update in those states whose legislation is similarly stuck in the analogue age.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.