Legal Deposit

Legal Deposit is a statutory provision requiring publishers to deposit copies of their publications in a nominated collecting institute.  The Legal Deposit system ensures that the works of authors and publishers will be preserved for present and future generations.

The comprehensive collections formed through Legal Deposit provide a valuable resource for research into all aspects of Western Australian life: its history and culture including artistic, commercial, technical and scientific endeavour.

For a summary of what Legal Deposit means to you, see our brochure Legal Deposit in Western Australia (PDF 896KB).

Legal Deposit in Western Australia

The State Library of Western Australia is the Legal Deposit library for Western Australia.  The Legal Deposit Act 2012  was passed in May 2012.  This Act covers print, audio-visual and digital material, including works published on the internet, and newspapers.

The Legal Deposit Regulations 2013 came into force on 1 January 2014.  The 2013 Regulations apply to print and other physical publications published in Western Australia, by a person who is resident in WA, or whose principal place of business is in WA.

A publication is any work that has been made available to the public and can be in format: a book, newspaper, journal, pamphlet, map, printed music, film, CD, DVD, computer disc or other device.

Internet and other online publications are not covered by the 2013 Regulations.  The Library continues to collect a wide range of Western Australian publications by donation and purchase.

Publications need to be deposited with the State Library within 30 days of publication and should be sent to:

Legal Deposit
State Library of Western Australia
25 Francis St
Perth WA 6000

Deposits by email:


Enquiries by email: 

Enquiries by telephone: (08) 9427 3348

Hand delivered Legal Deposit material should be taken to the ground floor Welcome Desk with a completed Legal Deposit / Donation Receipt form (PDF 276KB). 

If you are sending documents for public consultation and display, please send copies in addition to those required under Legal Deposit.

Legal Deposit to the National Library and in other Australian States

Legal deposit of Western Australian publications (including digital publications) is also required by the National Library of Australia.  Information on the legal deposit requirements for publishers in other states of Australia or in New Zealand is available on the National and State Libraries web page Legal Deposit in Australasia.

Information for WA Authors and Publishers

Second copies

The State Library encourages WA Authors and Publishers to donate a second copy of a publication - the first copy is archival, the second is an access copy.  If authors or publishers would prefer to be paid for the second copy please advise the Library and if a second copy is required, the Library's agent will purchase it on behalf of the Library.  If the publication is also available in digital format the Library may prefer to collect a digital copy as the second copy.

Copies for Public Libraries

The State Library does not accept items for Public Libraries directly from authors and/or publishers.  Selection decisions for Public Libraries are the responsibility of Public Library staff or an allocated supplier/s.  Contact Public Libraries directly or contact these suppliers:

Arrangements made for the supply of public library titles via these suppliers has no relation to the supply of titles for collections housed within the State Library of Western Australia.  Titles accepted by the suppliers must fit specified profiles for content and format. Not all titles can be accepted. 

Family history, local history and biography writers

The State Library of Western Australia collects a wide range of documents and images for the J S Battye Library of West Australian History.  Personal letters, diaries and photographs provide a glimpse of the past and/or depict contemporary life in Western Australia. These records are useful for researchers, family historians and others involved in the process of constructing history.  Please use the Donor Kit  to list items for assessment by Library staff. 


The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally. Each number identifies a unique edition of a publication, from one specific publisher.  The State Library does not issue ISBNs or ISSNs, nor do we require you to have an ISBN or an ISSN to deposit a publication. 

Information for Government Agencies

The Legal Deposit Regulations 2013 apply to Western Australian Government publications; additional requirements for WA Government Agencies, including a requirement for the deposit of digital Western Australian Government publications, are specified in a directive from the Premier of Western Australia (Premier's Circular Number 2003/17).  

The Premier's Circular does not apply to Local Government.  Local Government Agencies should note that documents listed under section 5.94 of the Local Government Act 1995  are state records and are managed under the State Records Act 2000  and the General Disposal Authority for Local Government Records. Local Government Agencies should not send the Library any documents (other than Annual Reports) listed in that section.

Two copies of publications produced for the public in print format only (i.e. where there is no digital version) should be deposited with the State Library.  The Library collects publications in the form in which they are distributed to the public.  For publications that are made available to the public in both print and digital editions, agencies are required to forward one copy of the printed version and a copy of the digital version. Where a publication is made available to the public in digital format only, agencies are to ensure that the State Library receives a digital copy of the publication.  Digital copies of publications should be forwarded to the following email address:  Digital copies deposited with the State Library should be in archival standard format.

If sending documents for public consultation and display please send them in addition to the copies required under Legal Deposit. 

In addition to the copies sent to the State Library, also forward separately one copy of every printed item to the National Library of Australia.

Type of Publication State Library of WA National Library of Australia
Print only 2 copies 1 copy
Print + digital 1 print copy
1 digital copy
1 print copy
Digital only 1 digital copy Nil


Disposal of Government Libraries Collections 

The specialist libraries of Government agencies operate as part of a network of State information resources. Their collections are part of the State's information assets and are considered a whole of Government resource. Catalogues, indexes and other library management resources are to be considered part of the specialist library collection. Prior to disposing of any part of a library collection, with the exception of stock culling associated with routine collection management, agencies should consult with the State Librarian.

Where State Library staff identify that a library collection contains unpublished records, the librarian or other person responsible for the collection will be responsible for contacting the agency's records management unit to make arrangements for that material to be retained or disposed of as appropriate.

Films, Videotapes and Other Motion Pictures Produced for Government Agencies 

In 1968 Western Australia established a State Film Archives to acquire, preserve, catalogue and make available for research films of significance to the State.  A directive to deposit government produced or sponsored film with the Archives was first issued by the then Premier in 1970.  All published motion pictures produced or commissioned by Government agencies in any format (digital preferred) should be deposited with the State Library of Western Australia. This includes promotional, commercial and other thematic productions.

Last updated on: 19 Apr 2018