page considers legal deposit schemes in Asia and Africa.
It covers -
Singapore and Malaysia
In Singapore Chapter 197 of the National Library Board
Act 1995 requires the publisher to deposit two copies
of every publication published in Singapore with the National
Library Board, at their own expense, within four weeks
from the date of publication.
The main purpose of the provisions is characterised as
"to preserve the nation's literary heritage and make
them accessible to present and future generations".
The legislation covers "all print and non-print materials
that are published or produced in Singapore, intended
for sale or public distribution". It encompasses
books, magazines, annual reports, newsletters and bulletins,
music scores, posters, CD-ROMs, video and audio cassettes.
Malaysia's Deposit of Library Material Act 1986
provides for the National Library to receive copies of
form of printed, graphic. audio, electronic or other
media, on or in which information is written, recorded,
stored, displayed or produced [including] ... books,
serials, maps, charts and posters ... non-printed library
material including cinematograph films, microforms,
phonographic records, video and audio recordings and
other electronic media
copies of books and other printed material are to be deposited,
with two copies of non-printed material such as sound
deposit in Japan is covered by the 1948 National Diet
Library Law, which obligates publishers of Japanese books,
pamphlets, serials, music scores, maps, charts films and
phonographic records and "Texts, images, sounds,
or programs recorded by electronic, magnetic, or other
methods which cannot be directly perceived by human senses"
to deposit a copy in the paliamentary library.
Japan is unusual in that publishers receive a nominal
payment, covering the cost of printing and postage.
The Japanese regime features a Legal Deposit System Council
established in 1999 following recommendations by a Legal
Deposit System Research Council regarding the shape of
legal deposit for electronic publications. Consistent
with many overseas counterparts, the Council called for
legal deposit of physical format electronic publications
but suggested that online content be acquired through
In India the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public
Libraries) Act 1954 requires deposit with the National
Library at Calcutta and any three other depository libraries.
The legislation covers
volume, part or division of a volume and pamphlet, in
any language, and every sheet of music, map, chart or
plan separately printed or lithographed
"any printed periodical work containing public news
or comments on public news published in conformity"
with the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867.
South Africa's Legal Deposit Act 1997 (here)
- administered by the deliciously-named Subdirectorate
of Meta-information - takes a broad definition of 'document'
("any object which is intended to store or convey
information in textual, graphic, visual, auditory or other
intelligible format through any medium … ") and encompasses
online electronic publications.
In practice online content is subject to deposit only
when specifically requested by the State Library.
The Act identifies the National Film, Video & Sound
as the repository for "audio-visual material that
has been published and made available in South Africa.
Legislation establishes the Jewish National & University
as the legal deposit library of Israel.
It receives two copies of each book, journal, cassette
or disk published in Israel. The publications are catalogued
in the JNUL catalogue and in the Israel national bibliography.