How to deposit your digital publications

Blue digital book icon image screen.

If you publish content in electronic format, you need to deposit it with the British Library. We offer several methods for deposit depending on the medium or format you are using to publish material.

Legal deposit entitles the British Library by law to collect one copy of every publication published in the UK, including electronic publications.

If you publish the same content in print and electronic formats, please continue to deposit the print copy unless the British Library or other legal deposit library has confirmed that your digital content can be processed and preserved.

If your publications are digital only, then please use one of the options below to deposit your work. Digital publications deposited with the British Library are also available from the 5 other legal deposit libraries. You only need to deposit one digital copy of each publication to meet the requirements of all the legal deposit libraries.

If you publish 50 or fewer items per year

You may be able to use our Publisher Submission Portal to deposit your publications. Watch our short film about the portal.

If you publish more than 50 items per year

Please contact to discuss options for deposit. Options include arranging deposit by an intermediary, such as an aggregator or distributor. E-journal publishers who use Portico can authorise Portico to deposit on their behalf.

How to deposit web publications

If you publish material on the open web, we should be able to collect this by web archiving. Where a publication is made available online and protected by password or login facility, the Library can request access to archive those materials by giving 1 month’s written notice.

Please contact our web archivist for more information.

How to deposit publications on CD ROM or other ‘hand-held’ formats

These should be delivered to the British Library at the following address:

Digital Processing team
The British Library
Boston Spa
West Yorkshire
LS23 7BY

Tel:  +44 (0)1937 546060 (Customer Services)

Additional material you should deposit

You should also deliver a copy of any computer programs, tools, manuals and information that are necessary for using and preserving the publication. Necessary information might include:

  • metadata
  • login details 
  • a means of removing individual DRM technical protection measures.

The deposit libraries have separate security arrangements restricting the use of deposited material to just those activities that are permitted by the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013.

The Joint Policy on Out of Scope Materials (PDF format, 76 KB) outlines the kinds of electronic publications not collected by legal deposit libraries.

Further information

Our Framework for UK Legal Deposit (PDF format, 290 KB) provides information on how we are developing our capacity to collect digital publications.