Guidelines for Legal Deposit Legislation

by Jules Larivière

Publisher: UNESCO

A revised, enlarged and updated edition of the 1981 publication by Dr. Jean LUNN
IFLA Committee on Cataloguing

The role of national libraries in ensuring universal and equitable access to information continues to be a cornerstone in the development of a knowledge society. A national library faces many challenges in ensuring that the published heritage of its country is acquired and preserved for all to use. An important vehicle in assisting national libraries meet this responsibility is legal deposit. The 1981 Guidelines for Legal Deposit Legislation prepared by Dr. Jean Lunn proved useful to many countries in developing their own legislation.

However, the advent of new formats, including digital publications, has raised new issues. It is imperative that information made available to the public in digital format be included as part of a national library's heritage collection. It is hoped that this new and enlarged edition of Dr. Lunn's work, which in particular addresses the issue of electronic formats, will similarly assist countries as they develop, update and revise their legal deposit legislation.

Sincere appreciation is due to UNESCO, which, through IFLA, provided the financial support for this research work, and to the National Library of Canada for directing the project.

Marianne Scott
Former National Librarian of Canada
and Chair of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL)
Advisory Committee on the Revision of the Guidelines



Also available on the UNESCO website.

Guidelines, National Libraries, legal deposit, depository libraries, information/library legislation, international instruments

Last update: 22 September 2015