We collect Australia’s stories. Ensure your story is preserved for future generations through legal deposit.

The benefits of legal deposit

By depositing you’ll help build the national collection. Once deposited your work will be preserved for future generations.  Your publication will help researchers, scholars, and audiences everywhere to understand the Australian experience. Legal deposit collections form a diverse and inclusive picture of the nation and capture what we are thinking, imagining, and writing about over time.

There are over 10 million items in the national collection, and we want Australia’s publishers to help us continue to build a comprehensive resource for all Australians to enjoy. Deposited publications reach a large national and global audience through discovery services such as Trove.

What legal deposit means for you

Legal deposit has been a law in Australia for over 100 years.  It ensures that the nation’s published heritage is collected and preserved for future generations.

One copy of everything that is published in Australia is to be given to the National Library under the legal deposit provisions of the Copyright Act (1968). In 2016 the laws were expanded to include electronic publications. Since then, legal deposit applies to all Australian publications, including:

  • books
  • graphic novels, comic books, zines
  • newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters
  • maps, sheet music
  • standalone or annual reports
  • government publications
  • websites

You don’t have to be a publishing professional to be considered a publisher – you might for example be an individual or a community organisation. Legal deposit applies to any Australian person, group or organisation that distributes their work to the public for sale or for free.

Published works that are not required or are only selectively collected include: blank forms and labels; calendars and diaries; activity-based materials such as colouring books, puzzle books and games that do not have significant text; training and procedure manuals; minutes of meetings; teaching and course notes, course workbooks and theses; press releases and trade advertising.

How to deposit

Where a print and electronic edition are available, we prefer deposit to be made electronically. You can easily do this through National edeposit service (NED)

Where an electronic edition has not been published a physical deposit will be accepted. Only one format of a book is required.  When posting us a copy of your publication, please put your name and contact details on the package or on a note within the package for our records.  If you choose to deliver your publication in person, we will ask you to complete a form when you arrive.

Print publications should be sent to:

Legal Deposit

National Library of Australia

Canberra ACT 2600

Legal deposit Australia-wide

As well as depositing with us, you need to deposit your publication with your home state or territory library.  You can contact your state or territory library to find out more, or review this list of state and territory obligations

Have more questions? Visit our FAQ page.


Legal deposit resources

Please find a printable PDF fact sheet attached below: