Questions and answers about legal deposit

We have made a list of the most common questions about legal deposit and given our best answers to them.

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Photo: Det Kgl. Bibliotek

Yes. They are considered two different works, even if the content is the same. An example could be an online publication and a printed book published in parallel, or a printed book that is also published on CD-ROM.

Publications in Braille are also required to be deposited. Excluded are works whose content is a purely mechanical, unprocessed transfer to Braille from another medium.

New editions of published works must be submitted, and this also applies to book club editions and paperbacks.

New unchanged reprints / editions do not have to be handed in again.

The same work published in different media forms must be handed in.

When ordering the material, publishers must make the producer aware of the deposit obligation, including whether it is a partial production or the final, completed production.

If it is not possible to determine which of several producers has the obligation to deposit, or if a work is not submitted by the producer, the publisher must deposit.

Publishers with their own printing company are required to deposit.

If the publisher lives in Denmark and has the material produced abroad, the publisher is obliged to hand it in.

If your publisher has had the book printed by a book printer in Danmark, the book printer will automatically hand over two copies to us.

If your publisher has had it printed abroad, the publisher must submit two copies.

If you have printed / copied it yourself, you must submit it yourself.

No, you do not.

Producers submit material up to six months later. Therefore, some material first appears in our library system with some delay in relation to the release date.

If internal publications are documents produced as part of an organisation's case processing, they must not be submitted.

On the other hand, annual reports and accounts, staff magazines, member magazines, school magazines, newsletters and the like must always be handed in, as they are typically distributed outside the company or to a wide circle (for example, all employees or all members).

In the same way, handbooks, business plans, action plans and more must be submitted if they are distributed to a wide circle and are not only part of internal case processing.

Works published on the intranet are not required to be handed in.

If the publisher is domiciled in Denmark and has the material produced abroad, the publisher is obliged to submit.

If the publisher is not domiciled in Denmark, the importer has a duty to ensure the deposit.

If the material has no connection to Denmark, it should not be deposited.

Together with the material you want to deposit, you must enclose a piece of paper with the sender / stamp and an indication of which period the deposit covers.

For example: 1st half of 2022.

Yes. We are happy to send a return packing slip so that the cost of postage is paid by us.

Of the two copies of a work that are handed in, one copy is a "museum" copy that must be secured for the future, and which can therefore normally only be used in the library's reading room. The second is a spare copy. The spare copy can usually be borrowed, unless the copyright rules prevent it.

Material in digital form may not be lent out, but only made available to individuals for personal review or study at the library.

Reproduction in digital form is not permitted.

Some of the material is registered in the national bibliography and at the library, so that it can be searched in the library system. However, much of the submitted material is treated summarily. It is only arranged in the library's magazines so that it can be found.

Radio and television broadcasts are preserved in the library 's radio and television collection . We provide access to compulsory radio and television broadcasts in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act. In practice, this means that the mandatory broadcasts can be used by everyone if you show up at the library's locations. Read more about access to the radio and TV broadcasts.

Submitted films are preserved at the Danish Film Institute. Films that have received support from the Danish Film Institute may, free of charge, be shown to a paying audience as part of the department's film cultural activities, taking into account the conservation obligation. Read more about collecting movies .

The legal deposit institutions have no quality requirements for the material. Nobody knows which publications in a few years' time will be considered interesting, rare or valuable.

No. Theses and main assignments are usually not published or distributed to the general public.

However, if a thesis is published by a publishing house, the publication must be handed in.


If you have a printing company / publisher, but you have not produced material for legal deposit during the delivery period, you must notify the relevant legal deposit institution.

If you have completely ceased your business, you must also notify the relevant institution.

No, there are firm guidelines.

To our address in Copenhagen, deliver:

  • Printed publications (excluding newspapers)
  • Releases in micro form
  • Photographic publications
  • Publications in Braille
  • Combined releases
  • Digital works on physical media

To our address in Aarhus, deliver:

  • Newspapers
  • Phonograms
  • Videograms

  • ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is assigned by DBC
  • ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is assigned by Royal Danish Library
  • ISMN (International Standard Music Number) is awarded by Royal Danish Library

Read more about the process for publishers.


Many municipalities and regions produce their own publications. The publications that are distributed among the general public must be submitted. These can be, for example, guides, staff magazines, reports, accounts and the like.

The same applies to the municipal and regional institutions. To the extent that they themselves produce publications intended for publication, these must be submitted. Publications that municipalities or regions have produced by external printers or other external producers must be submitted by the producer.

No, special prints do not have to be deposited.

Yes, special issues of magazines must be submitted.

At Christiansborg's fire in 1884, Royal Danish Library was about to go up in flames as well.

Politicians decided at the time that legally deposited materials should be stored in two different places in the country. That naturally requires two copies.

IT programmes are not covered by the Legal Deposit Act, unless a copy of a programme forms part of a work of a different kind and is published together with it.

This means that word processing programmes, spreadsheets and operating systems do not have to be handed in, while programmes that are included in or published with digitised books or reference works, multimedia works, computer games and other interactive works have to be deposited.

No, they should not. Instead, Royal Danish Library regularly harvests the Danish part of the Internet.

Read more about our work in collecting internet material.