Legal Deposit

Legal deposit is a requirement under the Copyright Act 1968 for publishers and self publishing authors to deposit a copy of any print work published in Australia with the National Library, and when applicable, the deposit libraries in your home state. See information for each state at bottom of page.

Legal deposit ensures that Australian publications are preserved for use now and in the future.

Authors publishing through TAT Publishing should make one copy available for this purpose.


The delivery address is:

Legal Deposit

National Library of Australia

Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: 02 6262 1312
Fax: 02 6273 4492

Attach your name and address so a Legal Deposit receipt can be sent.

Definition of publication

A work is deemed to have been published if reproductions of the work or edition have been made available (whether by sale or otherwise) to the public.

Best copy

The deposit copy must be the best complete copy of a work as published. For example, if both a hardback and paperback edition is published, one copy of the hardback edition must be deposited.

Does Legal Deposit cover electronic publications?

If a publication is available in both printed and electronic formats, the printed copy will be subject to legal deposit requirements. If a publication is available in electronic format only, it is not covered by the Copyright Act 1968. A consultation paper was issued in March 2012  by the Attorney-General’s Department on the extension of the Act to cover electronic publications.

However the National Library does collect electronic publications on a voluntary deposit basis. Publishers are very welcome to send in their publications so they can be added to the national collection and be preserved. Electronic publications will also be selected for purchase. Please note that in some states and territories the Legal Deposit legislation covers electronic publications.

Are print-on-demand publications subject to Legal Deposit?
The National Library considers print-on-demand to be an alternative method of producing print copies of publications for distribution. Print-on-demand publications are therefore treated in the same way as other print publications produced in the conventional way and are subject to Legal Deposit.
Second and subsequent editions

A copy of a second or later edition must be deposited if there are changes or additions to the preceding edition, such as to text or to illustrations. If a book is reprinted with a change to the title or to any part of the content, or it has a different publisher, it is considered to be a new edition.


What are the benefits of a legal deposit?

The National Library and other deposit libraries have an obligation to preserve all material lodged with them. Legal deposit ensures that:

  • works of authors and publishers survive for the use of future generations
  • records for legal deposit publications are available through Trove (a shared online national bibliographic database at
  • commercial and self-published works receive wide exposure
  • libraries can access and order bibliographic records for published works
  • selected titles are included in online indexing databases such as APAIS (Australian Public Affairs Information Service).

The National Library’s catalogue and Trove are available at Further information about Legal Deposit can be found on the National Library‘s website at

Legal Deposit requirements Australia wide

In addition to depositing with the National Library, the requirements in each state and territory are detailed below

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT does not currently have legal deposit legislation. ACT publishers, publishers of ACT based authors and self publishing authors are encouraged to lodge a copy of their publications with the ACTHeritage Library for ongoing preservation and access.

ACT Heritage Library
PO Box 158
Canberra City ACT 2601
T: (02) 6207 5163
F: (02) 6207 5835

New South Wales

Legal Deposit
State Library of New South Wales
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
T: (02) 9273 1489

Legal Deposit Officer
NSW Parliamentary Library
Parliament House
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
T: (02) 9230 2384
F: (02) 9230 2640

Gift, Legal Deposit, & Exchange Officer
University of Sydney Library
University of Sydney NSW 2006
T: (02) 9351 7279
F: (02) 9036 6460

Legal deposit is required under the New South Wales Copyright Act 1879-1952, ss 5-7.

The Act requires that a copy of every ‘book’ first published in New South Wales be lodged within two months of publication.’Book’ is defined in the Act as any book, newspaper, pamphlet, leaflet, music, map, chart or plan separately published and ‘bound’, sewed or stitched together’.

Legal deposit is also required with the National Library.

Northern Territory

Legal Deposit Officer
Northern Territory Library
GPO Box 42
Darwin NT 0801
T: (08) 8999 3929
F: (08) 8999 6920

Legal deposit is required under the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004. This Act requires documents published in the Northern Territory be deposited within two months of publication.

‘Document’ means any document available to the public including books, newspapers, magazines, periodicals, reports, newsletters, calendars, directories, handbooks, guides, sheet music, maps, pamphlets, audio cassettes, video cassettes, films, multimedia kits, computer magnetic tape, computer optical discs, floppy discs, compact discs, CDROMs, DVDs. The Act also includes Internet Publications including websites and PDF files.

Legal deposit is also required with the National Library.


Legal Deposit (Queensland)
Resource Discovery Unit
State Library of Queensland
P O Box 3488
South Brisbane QLD 4101
T: (07) 3840 7880
F: (07) 3846 1926

Parliamentary Librarian
Parliamentary Library
Parliament House
George Street
Brisbane QLD 4001
T: (07) 3406 7199
F: (07) 3210 0172

Legal deposit is required under the Queensland Libraries Act 1988 which replaces Part VIII of the Libraries and Archives Act 1988 . The Act requires that material published in Queensland is deposited within one month of publication with the State Librarian and the Librarian of the Parliamentary Library.

Material is defined as every part or division of a book, periodical, piece of sheet music, map or chart, also non-print material on audio tape, film, video recording, disk, microfilm or microfiche. Material is considered to have been published if reproductions of the material or edition have been supplied (whether by sale or otherwise) to the general public.

Legal deposit is also required with the National Library.

South Australia

Legal Deposit
State Library of South Australia
GPO Box 419
T: (08) 8207 7362
F: (08) 8207 7247

Parliamentary Librarian
South Australian Parliament Research Library
GPO Box 572
Adelaide SA 5001
T: (08) 8237 9428
F: (08) 8212 1797

Legal deposit is required under the South Australian Libraries Act 1982, s35 andLibraries Act Amendment Act, 1989. The Acts require that material published in South Australia be deposited within one month after publicationn. Material includes a book, or a part or division of a book: a newspaper, magazine, journal or pamphlet: a map, plan, chart or table: printed music: a record, cassette, film, video or audio tape, disk or other item made available to the public, designed to store and facilitate the reproduction of visual images, sound or information.

Legal deposit is also required with the National Library.


Legal Deposit Officer
State Library of Tasmania, LINC Tasmania
91 Murray Street
Hobart TAS 7000
T: (03) 6165 5576
F: (03) 6233 7506

Legal deposit is required under the Tasmanian Libraries Act 1984, s 22. The Act requires that a book published in Tasmania be deposited within one month of publication. “ ‘Book’ means any book, periodical, newspaper, printed matter, map, plan, music, manuscipt, picture, print, motion picture, sound recording, photographic negative or print, microphotography, videorecording and any other matter or thing whereby words, sounds or images are recorded or reproduced”.

Legal deposit is also required with the National Library.


Legal Deposit Officer
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
T: (03) 8664 7141 (books)
T: (03) 8664 7138 (periodicals)
F: (03) 9663 1480

Legal deposit is required under the Victorian Libraries Act 1988, s49. The Act requires the deposit within two months of every new publication published in Victoria. Publication includes every book, periodical, newspaper, musical score, map, chart, plan, picture, photograph, print and any other printed matter, any microfiche or microfilm and a range of other types of publication.

Legal deposit is also required with the National Library.

Western Australia

Legal Deposit
State Library of Western Australia
Perth Cultural Centre
25 Francis Street
Perth WA 6000
T: (08) 9427 3348
F: (08) 9427 3256

Legal deposit was reinstated in Western Australia under the Legal Deposit Act 2012. The Act covers print, audio-visual and digital material, including works published on the Internet. The Legal Deposit Regulations 2013 prescribe how the Act’s provisions operate. Regulations for the deposit of physical items came into effect on 1 January 2014. Further consultation to develop regulations for digital legal deposit will be undertaken in 2014.

Legal deposit is also required with the National Library.