British Library Legal Deposits

Printed Books: 

The British Library is entitled to delivery, free of charge, of one copy of every publication within one month, from the first day of its publication. 

The copy deposited must be “of the same quality as the best copies which, at the time of delivery, have been produced for publication in the United Kingdom” [Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003]. 

You can place an order through your Lightning Source account, within the order screen you can make the relevant adjustments to the delivery address. A copy of each of your publications can be sent to the following address: 

Legal Deposit Office 

The British Library 

Boston Spa 


West Yorkshire 

LS23 7BY 



You can also deposit your eBook electronically, you will be required to email ( with a zipped archive file which contains your publication in two files (a metadata file and a content file), in the format described below: 

The required formatting for electronic submission is as follows: 

  1. Metadata in ONIX 2.1 or ONIX 3.0 format 
  2. Content files in epub, but PDF is acceptable where no epub exists 
  3. Each e-publication is to be supplied as an individual zipped archive file containing the content and metadata files 
  4. The ISBN of the publication to be used as a prefix for all filenames relating to the publication (e.g. 

File name suffix conventions to be: 

  • .xml for the publication metadata (e.g. 9781784128265.xml)
  • .epub for the publication content (e.g. 9781784128265.epub)
  • .zip for the zipped archive file containing matching metadata and content files for the publication (e.g. containing the above .xml & .epub files). 

You may also receivean additional request for five more copies of your book(for the five other main UK libraries). 


This request will come through Lightning source. We will email you if we receive a request from theAgency for Legal Deposit Libraries (ALDL)for five additional copies of your book.

If you submitted one copy of your bookby postto the British Library, and then you receive a request for five additional copies of your book, you’ll need to send these copiesby postto the address below: 

Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries 
Unit 21 Marnin Way 
EH12 9GD 


OPTION:you can opt to send these five copies anyway without waiting for a formal request. 

For more information on legal deposits, please see: 

The British Library 

The Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries 


For all library legal deposit enquiries or requests to deposit, please email The British 

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