Legal Deposit - The National Library of Jamaica

Legal Deposit

Download the Legal Deposit Form View the Legal Deposit Act (PDF)  View the Legal Deposit Regulations (PDF)

Legal Deposit is the means by which a comprehensive national collection is gathered together as a record of the nations published heritage and development. It is enforceable by law and requires producers of published documents to deposit, with one or more specified agencies, copies of publications of all kinds, produced within the country, in any medium and by any process for public distribution, lease or sale.

When was the act passed in Jamaica?

In 2002, the Legal Deposit Act was passed and the National Library of Jamaica was designated the principal legal depository. It came into operation on the 11th day of October, 2004. (see the Jamaica Gazette Supplement: Proclamations, rules and regulations vol. CXXV II September 10, 2004

Who Should Deposit?

Any person resident in Jamaica who by himself or in association with others, produces any document and publishes it in Jamaica.

What types of materials are to be deposited?

The Act states that “library matter of any kind, nature and description and includes any document, paper, record, tape or other thing published by a national publisher” should be deposited.

How many copies are to be deposited?

  • Two (2) copies of printed document
  • One (1) copy of an audiovisual document

Did you know?

  • Did you know that the Legal Deposit system was first implemented in 1537? King Francois I of France issued a royal decree forbidding the sale of any book unless a copy was first deposited in the library at his castle.
  • The Books (Preservation and Registration of Copies) Act was repealed when the Legal Deposit Act was passed in 2002.
  • Every national publisher should, within one month of the publication of any document which he/she publishes in Jamaica, deposit in the legal depository the number of copies specified.
  • Every depositor is entitled to receive from the legal depository, a sum equivalent to the production cost of each document deposited.
  • Any national publisher who fails to comply with the regulations of the Act, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00).

Legal Deposit Bibliography

The National Library of Jamaica has compiled a bibliography to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Legal Deposit in Jamaica. This bibliography includes books received by the legal depository since the act came into operation in 2004.