The Norwegian Act of Legal Deposit of Generally Available Documents of 9 June 1989 came into effect on 1 July 1990. It was one of the first legal deposit acts to include digital publications, both offline and online. The act covers paper documents (e.g., books, periodicals, postcards, and photographs), sound recordings, films, videos, recordings of broadcasts and digital publications. Harvesting of the whole Norwegian domain has been carried out on a regular basis since 2005. A more selective harvesting approach is also being used; e.g. event based harvesting and downloading of newspapers.


The revised Act of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 11 November 2006, which replaced the Act of the Government of Lithuania of 22 November 1996, covers books, periodicals, printed music, micro-forms, audio-visual, cartographic, pictorial and electronic publications as well as materials published in Braille.

Lithuania was one of the first European countries to start archiving (in 2002) its domain and create bibliographic control of web documents.


There is no federal law on legal deposit in Switzerland. However, the Swiss National Library (SNL) has set up voluntary agreements with the two national publishers associations; Schweizerischer Buchändler– und Verleger–Verband (SBVV) and l’Association Suisse des Diffuseurs, Editeurs et Libraires (ASDEL), formerly SLESR, to build up its collections.

According to these agreements, publishers deposit a copy of each new publication with the SNL and which lists them in The Swiss Book, the national bibliography and in Helveticat, the online catalogue. In return, the SNL ensures the conservation of these publications and establishes annual statistics on Swiss literary output. The SNL also buys around 11,000 titles annually, mainly monographs published abroad and serials.

In the absence of formal legal deposit, more staff time is required to track and request publications. It is estimated that for printed monographs coverage is 90% although it can take up to two years to achieve this via claims requests since not all publishers (especially the smaller ones) automatically deposit items. The deposit of online digital resources is currently under examination.

United Kingdom and Ireland

The United Kingdom and Ireland are considered together because, although each country has its own legislative framework, the legal deposit obligations imposed on publishers operate across national boundaries.

In the United Kingdom, the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 ( acts2003/20030028.htm) and, in Ireland, the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 (http:// make it obligatory for publishers and distributors in the United Kingdom and Ireland to deposit their publications.

Publishers and distributors in the United Kingdom and in Ireland have a legal obligation to deposit published material in the six legal deposit libraries which collectively maintain the national published archive of the British Isles. These are:

  • The British Library
  • The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
  • Cambridge University Library
  • The National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • The Library of Trinity College, Dublin
  • The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

Publishers are obliged to send one copy of each of their publications to the British Library within one month of publication. The other five libraries have the right to claim items. In practice many publishers deposit their publications with all six libraries without waiting for a claim to be made. In the UK a court order may be obtained to enforce compliance and, in the last resort, to impose a financial penalty. In Ireland, publishers may be required to deposit up to 13 copies and failure to comply with the legal deposit requirements can result in a substantial fine.

All printed publications come within the scope of legal deposit. Under the The Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013 electronic publications also came into scope. In Ireland, the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 has extended legal deposit to electronic formats.

In the absence of legal deposit legislation covering audio-visual materials, the British Library Sound Archive has a long-standing agreement with the British Phonographic Industry Ltd (BPI), through which its members agree to deposit up to two copies of all UK recordings free of charge. In practice intake of BPI members' and other record companies' output is dependent on resources available to monitor output and request deposit.