Legal Deposit Requirements


By law, a copy of every UK publication (including e-book publications) must be given to the British Library, and to five other major libraries that request it.

PRINT PUBLICATIONS – 1 copy of each print publication needs to be deposited to the British Library (the address is below), and – if requested – 5 additional copies to the Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries.

E BOOK PUBLICATIONS – 1 copy of each e-book publication needs to be deposited electronically. For instructions please click here.

British Library – You MUST send them ONE copy


The British Library is entitled to delivery, free of charge, of one copy of every publication within one month beginning with the day of its publication. The copy deposited must be “of the same quality as the best copies which, at the time of delivery, have been produced for publication in the United Kingdom” [Legal deposit Libraries Act 2003]. The British Library will issue a receipt for every work deposited.

The copy for the British Library should be delivered to:
Legal Deposit Office
The British Library
Boston Spa
West Yorkshire
LS23 7BY

+44 (0)1937 546268 (monographs)
+44 (0)1937 546267 (serials)
+44 (0)1937 546409 (newspapers)

[email protected] (monographs)
[email protected] (serials)
[email protected] (newspapers)




The legal deposit libraries act (2003) requires that five copies of each publication distributed in the UK or Ireland be sent to the Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries (ALDL) if requested. This is in order to preserve the literary heritage of the country for further generations. So, if you are printing your book, you should reserve 5 copies to send to the Legal Deposit Agency if requested.

This request will come through us (we will send you an email if we receive a request from ALDL for 5 copies of your book).

The address for sending these copies (if requested) is –

The Agent
Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries
161 Causewayside

NOTE – you can send these 5 copies if you wish anyway, without necessarily waiting for a demand.

For more information on legal deposits please see

The British Library   and  The Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries


Irish publishers and distributors are obliged by law to deposit 13 print copies of a book or journal with specified legal deposit libraries in Ireland and the United Kingdom.  Look here for details.