Collection management policy: legal deposit

Supporting document to Collection Management Policy Statement

1. University of Oxford and legal deposit

The Bodleian Libraries recognize the legal deposit of publications under the terms of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 and the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013 which followed as a longstanding benefit to the University of Oxford, both in the past and in the future. It is accepted that such material is provided for the long-term use of the community of readers in Oxford, in the United Kingdom, and internationally. The legal deposit collections are seen as a national and international resource, and policies relating to them and their management are agreed after consultation with the other five legal deposit libraries.

2. Scope of legal deposit acquisition

The Bodleian Libraries are committed to working with the other legal deposit libraries in the systematic and comprehensive collection of all publications issued in the United Kingdom. While the Bodleian Libraries aim to acquire all academic material, they will also attempt to collect a range of other publications in cooperation with those libraries.

In 2013 the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations recognised the importance to the UK's information infrastructure of the key shift in publishing which has taken place in recent years: the move to digital. The Regulations recognise the central role that the Legal Deposit Libraries have in securing this electronic manifestation of the national published memory for future generations. They permit each Legal Deposit Library to claim and receive publications in an electronic format. However, this must be by agreement and the default format remains print until such time as an agreement is reached.

3. Protection of legal deposit publications

As far as resources permit, legal deposit copies of printed 'core texts' and other titles on open access and receiving, or likely to receive, heavy use will be protected by the use of substitute copies.

4. Location of print legal deposit material

Legal deposit printed material received under the terms of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act is located in any of the Bodleian Libraries which meet specified conditions applied to the housing of that material. The conditions are as follows:

  • Appropriate preservation policies should be in place there.
  • The library should be able to grant access to all readers who meet the criteria for admission to the Bodleian Libraries (see 5 below).
  • The library's opening hours should provide for the needs of the research community throughout the year.
  • Legal deposit material should be identified as such, and its retention status recorded.

Libraries that currently meet the specified conditions are as follows:

Bodleian Education Library
Bodleian Japanese Library
Bodleian KB Chen China Centre Library
Bodleian Law Library
Bodleian Library - Old Library
Bodleian Library - Radcliffe Camera
Bodleian Library - Weston Library
Bodleian Oriental Institute Library
Bodleian Social Science Library
Philosophy and Theology Faculties Library
Radcliffe Science Library
Sackler Library
Taylor Institution Library
Vere Harmsworth Library

5. Access to legal deposit material

Access to legal deposit material, housed in any of the Bodleian Libraries, will be given to any person engaged in serious study who can demonstrate a need to use it, that is, to anyone who meets the criteria for admission to the Bodleian Libraries. As far as is practicable, legal deposit material housed in the Book Storage Facility will be made available to readers for consultation in any of the Bodleian Libraries meeting the conditions set out in section 4 above.

Print books and journals acquired through legal deposit in the Bodleian Libraries are not generally lent directly to readers, subject to certain exceptions. Some categories of legally deposited publications are made available to outside readers through the national inter-library loan service under strict conditions, and there are similar procedures for sending material on interdepartmental loan to other libraries within the University. Access to electronic legal deposit material is provided in Bodleian Libraries' reading rooms.

Access to electronic legal deposit material is provided in Bodleian Libraries' reading rooms. Electronic legal deposit (eLD) content is stored at the British Library rather than locally. It may be accessed in Bodleian Libraries' reading rooms. E-journals, e-books and other e-versions of traditional printed materials, standalone or 'offline' electronic items such as CD ROMs are accessed using the online catalogue, SOLO. Harvested content from websites is accessed directly via the UK Legal Deposit Web Archive.

Access is restricted to one user at a time at a PC within the premises of the Bodleian Libraries and is not available on readers' own devices.

Access to content deposited under eLD is not available in college libraries and departments since they are not covered by the terms of the legislation.

6. Retention and disposal

Please see supporting document to the Collection management policy 'Disposal, retention and transfer'.

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