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Deposit Open Textbook Using Legal Deposit Schemes

Legal Deposit Obligations for Publishers in Australia and New Zealand

Legal deposit is a statutory provision which legally obliges publishers to deposit copies of their publications in the National Library of Australia and in the state or territory library in the region of publication. This includes: commercial and government publishers clubs, associations and societies schools churches organisations self-publishing authors.

In most cases, this is expected within 1–2 months of publication, although you can sometimes also deposit older publications.

Publishers in New Zealand are legally required to deposit their publications with the National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ) within 20 days of publication.

Legal deposit schemes ensure cultural and historical material is preserved for current and future generations. It enables libraries to provide access to a complete collection of locally-published material.

Legal Deposit Obligations by Australian State or Territory

Legal deposit obligations in Australia vary from state to state. Depending on local legislation, you may be required to deposit your publications to: the National Library of Australia (NLA) state and territory libraries university libraries parliamentary libraries.

Most Australian state and territory library websites provide information about specific legal deposit requirements in your state:

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) doesn’t have its own legal deposit legislation, but ACT publishers or publishers of ACT-based authors are encouraged to deposit with the ACT Heritage Library, in addition to the NLA.

The below chart, developed by National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), illustrates legal deposit requirements for different types of media in Australia.

Requirements for legal deposit in Australia by National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.
Library or State/Territory Printed Material AV Material* Born-Digital Material**
National Library of Australia
Australian Capital Territory***
New South Wales
Northern Territory
South Australia
Western Australia

* AV material = audiovisual (e.g. CDs, DVDs, cassettes, films, multimedia kits, computer disks)

** born-digital = documents created and designed to be read in electronic form

*** legal deposit encouraged by the ACT Heritage Library but not legislated.

While you’re not legally required to deposit material beyond this, libraries may still welcome donations if the content of the publication or its author has a strong link to their jurisdiction.

Depositing with Australia’s National edeposit (NED) Service

Australia’s National Electronic Deposit Service (NED) – known as National edeposit – is a collaboration between the national, state and territory libraries.

NED allows you to fulfil your legal deposit obligations by making a single deposit in one central location.

Getting Help with Legal Deposit Obligations

If you need help with figuring out your legal deposit obligations, The NLA provides contact details for enquires for each Australian state and territory.

Publishers in New Zealand can get help from NLNZ.

Further Reading

The following resources provide more information on the history, rationale and benefits of legal deposit:



National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA). (n.d.). Legal deposit in Australia. National edeposit (NED). Retrieved April 20, 2022, from

National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA). (n.d.). What is National edeposit (NED)? Retrieved April 20, 2022, from

National Library of New Zealand. (n.d.). Legal deposit. Retrieved April 20, 2022, from


Adapted from ‘Legal Deposit in Australia’ by National and State Libraries Australasia (NSLA), licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.