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Legal deposit

Legal deposit, which has its origins in the Copyright Act 1869, has helped us to preserve and maintain a lasting record of Victoria’s publishing history. It has also enabled the Library to collect Victorian publications not held in other libraries, providing valuable material for researchers.

A copy of works published in Victoria must be deposited with State Library Victoria under section 49 of the Libraries Act 1988 (Vic). A copy of printed publications may also be required to be deposited with the National Library of Australia.

What needs to be deposited?

If you publish a work in Victoria – that is, make material available to the public for sale, to registered members or free of charge – you are required to send one copy to the Library within 60 days of publication.

A work can be written or printed, or in another format such as audio, video or microfilm. All types of publications should be deposited, including books, periodicals, newspapers, brochures, catalogues, newsletters, annual reports, maps, music scores, DVDs, CD-ROMS, microfiche, digital and electronic publications.

If your publication is available in both print and electronic formats, electronic format is preferred.

Works produced for companies, organisations, community groups, private individuals or the public must be deposited by the publisher. Even if your work isn't commercially published, you still need to deposit a copy of it.

If a work is revised, translated, reformatted or abridged, a copy of this amended publication must be deposited with the State Library. If a work is republished by a new publisher, this newly published version also needs to be deposited, even if the work hasn't changed in any other way. A copy of a reprinted publication that is the same as the first print run does not need to be deposited.

How to deposit publications

Digital and electronic publications

From 30 May 2019, you can deposit electronic publications to fulfil national and state or territory digital deposit responsibilities through a single online service – National edeposit (NED).

National edeposit simplifies your deposit obligations. You can deposit books, serials, maps and music scores. The details of your publications are discoverable on Trove, and on national, state and territory library catalogues.

Print publications

Send one copy of your print/hardcopy publications, along with your name and contact details to us at:

Legal Deposit Librarian
State Library Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Vic 3000

All works deposited will be acknowledged by post or email (if you have a preference, please let us know).

Once deposited and processed, a record of your publication will be available in our online catalogue and stored in our Victorian and Australiana published collections.

Most print legal deposit works are housed in closed access storage, but can be viewed upon request.

Published works that are not required to be deposited include: blank forms and labels; almanacs, calendars and diaries that contain dates but no significant text; activity-based materials such as colouring books, puzzle books and games that do not have significant text; in-house material such as training and procedure manuals, and minutes of meetings; teaching and course notes, course workbooks and theses; press releases; and trade advertising.

More information on legal deposit

If you require further information, please contact us on 03 8664 7146 or legaldeposit@slv.vic.gov.au.

Older material

The Library is also happy to receive older publications that we may not have previously received or that may fill in gaps in our holdings.

Please contact the Library via our Collection offers form before sending older publications.

Websites & online publications

Websites and online publications found on the internet are collected via PANDORA, in partnership with the National Library of Australia.

For enquiries about PANDORA, please contact us on 03 8664 7153 or pandora@slv.vic.gov.au.

Victorian Government publications

The legal deposit provisions of the Libraries Act 1988 do not cover Victorian Government publications. Instead, a Premier's circular from the Department of Premier and Cabinet requests that all Victorian state government agencies lodge copies of their publications with the Library.

To assist the Library in building a comprehensive record of state government publishing, the circular also requests that government agencies give permission to the Library to archive their publications and websites.