The Legal Deposit under the National Library Board Act (Chapter 197, No. 5 of 1995, Part II Section 10) currently covers physical publications, which includes print and Audio-Visual works by Singapore writers, producers and publishers. The inclusion of digital publications, such as e-books, is currently under legislative review.
As documents are increasingly being
published digitally, we face a potential risk of losing our digital published
heritage if we do not start preserving them today. The purpose of this
is to enable the National Library to systematically collect
and preserve digitally published materials for posterity.
The NLB encourages Singapore publishers to support the preservation of our digital heritage. The scheme is voluntary and there is no legal obligation on Singapore publishers to comply.
Benefits of Digital Deposit
Digital materials that are not managed properly may become unusable in the span of a few years due to technological obsolescence or media decay.
To ensure that access to these important assets and heritage materials are protected and preserved, publishers are encouraged to start depositing Singapore digital publications voluntarily with the National Library. The NLB will provide the framework and procedure to manage and preserve the digital heritage for future generations.
How to Deposit
Deposit of digital materials is currently voluntary. To deposit, publishers are required to log in to the Deposit Web to complete an online form. Only one copy is required to be deposited.
All digital publications that are published or produced in Singapore and made available for sale or public distribution are encouraged to be deposited.
- Electronic books
- Electronic serials such as annual reports, conference proceedings, directories, guidebooks, journals, magazines, newsletters, yearbooks
- Electronic reports and research studies
- Video and sound recordings
Audio-Visual publications stored in handheld devices such as CD-ROMs and DVDs are currently collected under Legal Deposit, whereby two copies are required to be deposited with the National Library.
Digital File Format
To encourage voluntary digital deposit, the National Library will accept the digital content in the format it was published, or in any common publishing formats. However, our preferred digital file formats are PDF, PDF/A, JPEG, MP3 and MP4.
Please deposit your digital publication as a single document. Please ensure that your digital publication does not have any Digital Rights Management or other technical usage restrictions, and are uncompressed, or using lossless compression.
Where necessary, the NLB may reformat the publications to an approved format for preservation purposes only. The chosen preservation format would depend on the context and sustainability of the format. The NLB may also reformat the publications so that they can be accessed in the NLB’s onsite platforms.
Access to Digital Publication
Deposited digital publication will be available for viewing at Lee Kong Chian Reference Library's designated terminals. Access is limited to one user at a time. Users will not be able to download, copy or print the publications.
Deposited digital publication can be available online via BookSG if permission has been granted by the copyright owner.
All intellectual property rights shall remain exclusively with the publisher of the digital publication. Deposited digital publications will only be used for non-commercial educational or research purposes at the NLB’s onsite platforms. In the event that a user indicates interest to use copyrighted content, the NLB will refer them to the respective publishers.
For more information, please contact the Legal Deposit Office at: