Write yourself into history

As a member of the Royal Australian Historical Society, you’ve almost certainly discovered the wealth of the State Library of New South Wales collections as well as those of the National Library of Australia. Perhaps you’ve whiled away many hours making discoveries on Trove. Did you know that a large proportion of these collections were built through legal deposit?

Legal deposit is a law which has been in place in Australia in various forms since the 19th century. It means that one copy of everything published electronically or in print is to be given to the National Library and the relevant state or territory library in which it was published. Legal deposit ensures that our published heritage is preserved for future generations, providing a diverse and inclusive picture of the nation, capturing what we are thinking, imagining, and writing about over time.

We’re reaching out to members of the Royal Australian Historical Society to make sure that those of you who publish are aware of the opportunity to contribute to our national heritage through legal deposit.

Published means an item that is available to the public for sale or for free, for example if it is available to read through your society library. If your work was published in Australia, whether in print or electronically, you need to deposit a copy with the National Library and your state or territory library. Works that are self-published or published commercially are included. You don’t need to have an ISBN. If you, as an Australian, self-publish using an international service, your publication is still considered to have been published in Australia.

If you live in New South Wales and your publication fits the above description, you should deposit a copy with the National Library and the State Library of New South Wales. Deposits are accepted in print and electronic formats. Where both formats are available we prefer electronic and we only require one copy. Electronic deposit is easy, free, safe and fast through the National edeposit service (NED). By depositing through NED publications will be available to both the National Library and the State Library of New South Wales.

Find out more on our website here.

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