Legal deposit is a statutory provision requiring publishers to deposit copies of their publications in a nominated collecting institute. The legal deposit system ensures that the works of authors and publishers will be preserved for present and future generations.
The comprehensive collections formed through legal deposit provide a valuable resource for research into all aspects of Australian life: its history and culture including artistic, commercial, technical and scientific endeavour.
Legal deposit in Western Australia
The State Library of Western Australia is the legal deposit library for Western Australia. Western Australia Legal Deposit Act was passed in May 2012. This Act covers print, audio-visual, digital material and newspapers. Legal Deposit Regulations 2013 for print and other non-online publications including audio-visual came into force on 1 January 2014.
The Act applies to material published in Western Australia; by a person who is resident in Western Australia, or whose principal place of business is in Western Australia.
A publication is any work that has been made available to the public.
Legal deposit to the National Library and in other Australian states
Publishers in all Australian jurisdictions are required to deposit print and electronic publications with the National Library of Australia in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968. If both formats are available, electronic is preferred. The National Library does not collect audio-visual material.
Information on the legal deposit requirements for publishers in other states of Australia is available on the National and State Libraries Australasia web page Legal Deposit in Australia and on the National edeposit website.
Information for WA Government agencies
The Legal Deposit Act 2012 and Legal Deposit Regulations 2013 apply to all Western Australian Government publications; additional requirements for WA Government Agencies, including a requirement for the deposit of digital Western Australian Government publications, are specified in a directive from the Premier of Western Australia.
The Premier's Circular does not apply to Local Government, however legal deposit legislation still applies, and we encourage LGAs to be guided by the same depositing requirements for digital publications as State Government agencies. Local Government Agencies should note that documents listed under section 5.94 of the Local Government Act 1995 are state records and are managed under the State Records Act 2000 and the General Disposal Authority for Local Government Records. Local Government Agencies should not send the Library any documents (other than Annual Reports) listed in that section. Local government agencies should still deposit publications not listed in section 5.94 for example: newsletters, magazines, books, reports and maps.
Two copies of publications produced for the public in print format only (i.e. where there is no digital version) should be deposited with the State Library. The Library collects publications in the form in which they are distributed to the public. For publications that are made available to the public in both print and digital editions, agencies are required to forward one copy of the printed version and deposit a digital version via the National edeposit (NED) portal. Where a publication is made available to the public in digital format only, agencies are to deposit via the National edeposit (NED) portal.
More information about the National edeposit service and portal access can be found at ned.gov.au.
If sending documents for public consultation and display please send them in addition to the copies required under legal deposit.
Australian government departments and agencies are required to deposit copies of their publications with the National Library of Australia under the Commonwealth Library Deposit and Free Issues Schemes. For electronic publications, once deposited in the National edeposit portal, obligations for national edeposit have been filled.
|Type of Publication||State Library of WA||National Library of Australia|
|Print only||2 copies||1 copy|
|Print + digital||1 print copy|
Digital copy deposited through National edeposit portal (No print copy deposit required for annual reports produced in print AND digital)
|Digital copy deposited through National edeposit portal|
|Digital only||Digital copy deposited through National edeposit portal||Digital copy deposited through National edeposit portal|
Disposal of Government libraries collections
The specialist libraries of Government agencies operate as part of a network of State information resources. Their collections are part of the State's information assets and are considered a whole of Government resource.
Catalogues, indexes and other library management resources are to be considered part of the specialist library collection. Prior to disposing of any part of a library collection, with the exception of stock culling associated with routine collection management, agencies should consult with the State Librarian.
If you have any queries about this process please contact us:
Telephone: (08) 9427 3348
Where State Library staff identify that a library collection contains unpublished records, the librarian or other person responsible for the collection will be responsible for contacting the agency's records management unit to make arrangements for that material to be retained or disposed of as appropriate.
Films, videotapes & other motion pictures produced for Government agencies
In 1968 Western Australia established a State Film Archives to acquire, preserve, catalogue and make available for research films of significance to the State. A directive to deposit government produced or sponsored film with the Archives was first issued by the then Premier in 1970. All published motion pictures produced or commissioned by Government agencies in any format (digital preferred) should be deposited with the State Library of Western Australia. This includes promotional, commercial and other thematic productions.
Copies for public libraries
The State Library does not accept items for public libraries directly from authors and/or publishers. Selection decisions for public libraries are the responsibility of public library staff or an allocated supplier/s. Contact public libraries directly or contact these suppliers:
Arrangements made for the supply of public library titles via these suppliers has no relation to the supply of titles for collections housed within the State Library. Titles accepted by the suppliers must fit specified profiles for content and format. Not all titles can be accepted.
Family history, local history & biography writers
The State Library of Western Australia collects a wide range of documents and images for the J. S. Battye Library of West Australian History. Personal letters, diaries and photographs provide a glimpse of the past and/or depict contemporary life in Western Australia. These records are useful for researchers, family historians and others involved in the process of constructing history.
ISBNs & ISSNs
The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally. Each number identifies a unique edition of a publication, from one specific publisher. The State Library does not issue ISBNs or ISSNs, nor do we require you to have an ISBN or an ISSN to deposit a publication.
State Library is an active participant in PANDORA - Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia - a national archive of Australian online publications and websites. In 2004, PANDORA was placed on UNESCO's Memory of the World for Digital Heritage.
Since 2004 State Library of Western Australia has:
- ensured that Western Australian websites are preserved for future generations
- provided selection guidelines emphasising Western Australian content and web material published online.
Selection for PANDORA
PANDORA contains a wide range of selected online resources. They include publications by government agencies, academic institutions and other publishers; websites by numerous organisations and community groups; and others covering various subject areas, interests and activities.
Also included are political issues and election campaigns, festivals and events, and blogs. Recent collecting initiatives include 2021 Western Australia State Election Campaign and the Corona (COVID-19 Panademic and Australia 2020-2021.
New resources are added to PANDORA selectively, with an emphasis on collecting and preserving online content considered authoritative, significant and as having long-term research value. Selection is based on Selection Guidelines.