Legal Deposit is a requirement under the Copyright Act 1968 for publishers and self publishing authors to deposit a copy of works published in Australia with the National Library and when applicable, the deposit libraries in your home state. Legal Deposit ensures that Australian publications are preserved for use now and in the future.

New Legal Deposit legislation in Australia

On 17 August 2015, new legislation was passed which refreshes legal deposit provisions in the Copyright Act. The new legislation will come into effect in February 2016. It extends legal deposit to include Australia's online landscape. It covers all published literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, or an edition of such a work that is a website, web page, web file, book, periodical, newspaper, pamphlet, sheet of music, map, plan, chart or table.

Publishers of offline material will be required to deliver a physical copy of the material within one month of publication. This includes hardcopy print material or electronic material published on a disc, USB flash-drive or any other physical electronic media.

Published material that is available online, such as a website or an ebook, will be required to be delivered only if you receive a request from the National Library, within one month of that request. Such requests from us will make clear to publishers exactly what is required. Most website publishers will not need to do anything to facilitate collecting.

It is expected that the National Library will begin making such requests in 2016. Prior to this time, the Library will be developing its systems and collaborating with publishers to build streamlined ways to deposit material. From February 2016, publishers will be able to deposit their digital publications using the new e-deposit form.

How to deposit

For hardcopy or offline books and other monographs, send one copy to:

Legal Deposit 
National Library of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600

Include your name and address so that a Legal Deposit acknowledgement receipt can be sent. Please note that material can take 30 days to process.

For hardcopy or offline serials, send one copy of each issue to:

Australian Serials
National Library of Australia
Canberra ACT 2600

Contact us

Legal Deposit

Telephone: 02 6262 1312
Fax: 02 6273 4492

Australian Serials

Telephone: 02 6262 1311
Fax: 02 6273 4492

Australia wide

In addition to depositing with the National Library, each state and territory in Australia has their own Legal Deposit requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

More Legal Deposits FAQs...


In Australia copyright protection is granted automatically once a work is created. There is no inherent relationship between Legal Deposit and copyright.

The Australian Copyright Council can provide advice to authors and publishers on copyright.


The National Library has a mandate to collect and preserve Australian publications. Legal Deposit ensures that:

  • the works published in Australia survive for the use of future generations
  • records for Legal Deposit publications are searchable in the National Library's Internet search engine Trove and in national and international bibliographic databases like Libraries Australia and Worldcat 
  • both commercial and self-published works receive wide exposure

Did you know?

Every year the National Library of Australia collects over 12,000 books on Legal Deposit in all languages.

From February, publishers will be able to deposit their digital publications via the Library’s e-deposit online form