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Legal deposit and collection development in a digital world

Nicholas Joint (Editor, Library Review)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 October 2006




To compare and contrast national collection management principles for hard copy deposit collections and for digital deposit collections.


A selective overview and summary of work to date on digital legal deposit and digital preservation.


That the comprehensive nature of traditional print deposit collection often absolves national libraries from the more intractable problems of stock selection; whereas the difficulty of collecting the entire national digital web space means that intelligent selection is vital for the building of meaningful digital deposit collections.

Research limitations/implications

These are indicative and partial insights based on small scale interrogation of trial digital deposit collections: the issue of collection development and selection biases in digital collection building needs greater in‐depth research before hard and fast recommendations about collection management criteria can be arrived at.

Practical implications

The principles outlined may offer practitioners in national libraries some useful insights into how to manage their digital deposit collections.


This paper emphasises the social and political aspects of digital deposit issues, rather than the legal or technical aspects.



Joint, N. (2006), "Legal deposit and collection development in a digital world", Library Review, Vol. 55 No. 8, pp. 468-473.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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