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UK Electronic Legal Deposit

Our Nations' Heritage

Legal Deposit, which has existed in English law since 1662, ensures that the published output of the UK and Ireland is collected, preserved and made available within the six Legal Deposit Libraries for present and future generations.

Print publications for Legal Deposit include books, journals, sheet music, maps, plans, charts and tables. New regulations came into force on the 6th April 2013 to extend Legal Deposit to materials published electronically and on the Internet. Electronic Legal Deposit covers material published digitally such as websites, blogs, e-books, e-journals and CD-ROMs.

UK electronic Legal Deposit (UK eLD)

The six Legal Deposit Libraries are collaborating to archive and provide seamless access to electronic Legal Deposit material (eLD), with a growing collection of more than 5 million e-books and e-journal articles. This is the first time that a collaborative effort on this scale has been achieved in the UK, Ireland and internationally between major library institutions. More and more publishers are depositing electronic material, which can be accessed in each library in the same way. Electronic formats facilitate improved search capabilities within a document, which is not possible in printed publications. Material received electronically from publishers is saved in perpetuity by the Legal Deposit Libraries and can be accessed on library premises only.

Electronic Legal Deposit is also referred to as Non-Print Legal Deposit (NPLD).

In the Library of Trinity College Dublin, we are using the terminology "UK eLD" to specifically refer to electronic Legal Deposit of UK material, received under the UK legislation. At the moment, eLD does not cover Irish material under the Irish regulations.

More information on electronic Legal Deposit at the Library of Trinity College Dublin

Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA) Pilot: Improving Access to Academic Books

The Library is pleased to offer Trinity College Dublin staff and students the option to select books to add to our collection. All the available titles are from publishers who have moved to UK e-Legal Deposit since 2015, such as Taylor & Francis, Routledge and Sage. While the quantity and range of titles via UK e-legal deposit is impressive (over 300,000 e-books as of August 2018), access is restricted to Library PCs only. The Library understands that the access restrictions can be a barrier to research, and so we are inviting our readers to select, when needed, an additional copy for our collection. Integrated with our catalogue are thousands of records for available titles. Print copies can be ordered with a lead time of approximately three weeks, and on arrival the book will be reserved for you.