Legal Deposits

The National Library of Sweden has been collecting printed material since 1661. The obligation to provide legal deposit copies is enacted in law.

The original purpose was to control and enable censorship of what was written in Sweden. In the modern era, the National Library is steward of Swedish cultural heritage and makes it available to researchers and the public.

Anyone who duplicates and publishes a printed or electronic document, such as a DVD or other disk or audiovisual material material such as a videogram, audio cassette, or CD intended mainly for distribution in Sweden is required to provide legal deposit copies to the National Library. It does not matter how the publication is produced or what language it is in.

Deposit Libraries and Legal Deposit Copies

One legal deposit copy each must be sent to the National Library and six university libraries.

The National Library collects material including posters, almanacs, free newspapers, bibles, instruction manuals, statutes, handbooks, calendars, programs, maps, miscellaneous catalogs, conference proceedings, crossword puzzle books, textbooks, newspaper display pages, printed music, government publications, conference posters, reports, advertising, game rules, statistics, phone books, periodicals, schedules, tourist brochures, election propaganda, postcards, and annual reports.

Since 2009 the National Library also collects audiovisual material, mainly radio and television programs, film, video, and audio disks.

Special rules apply to newspapers, publishing of small editions, and reprints.

Supplier Responsible for Legal Deposit

Legal deposit copies must be provided by the supplier who:

  • Prints or otherwise duplicates a publication
  • Orders printing or pressing of a publication abroad
  • Publishes electronic documents, such as CDs and DVDs 
  • Publishes “combined material,” meaning one or more printed publications accompanied by AV material
  • Distributes a publication produced abroad in Sweden, in which case the publication must have a Swedish connection and be imported in a significant number of copies.

Deposit Period

Printed publications and combination material must be deposited once per quarter.

Electronic documents, phonograms, videograms, and multimedia publications must be deposited within one month of the date the document became available to the public.

Newspapers must be deposited in January, March, May, July, September, and November.

There are special procedures for sending deposits.

Contact Details

If you have questions about legal deposit procedures, please contact:

Physical Collections Department
Ephemera/Legal Deposits
Phone: +46 (0)709 30 95 (Tues. and Thurs., 9.30 am - 12 pm)
E-mail: plikt[atsign]

Last updated: 2017-04-26
Contact person: Boel Larsson, e-mail:
Stairway to the Annex at the National Library

National Library