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The Impact of E-Legal Deposit in the Academic Sector


Digital Library Futures: Symposium on NonPrint Legal Deposit

Since legal deposit regulations were introduced to the UK in the 17th Century, society has benefited from the systematic preservation of our written cultural heritage. In 2013 these regulations were expanded to incorporate non-print materials, an important addition that simultaneously secured much of the UK's written digital heritage, and created several major challenges to institutional practices and end users.

As part of the AHRC-funded Digital Library Futures project, we hosted a one-day symposium, on 21 May 2019 at Cambridge University Library, on the present and future of Non-Print Legal Deposit. We launched the project white paper via a presentation that addressed the following key questions: What impact has the introduction of NPLD had upon academic deposit libraries? How are legal deposit collections currently used by researchers within the UK? And what does an empirical, user-driven account of NPLD tell us about the position of legal deposit in the digital age?

In the afternoon, we broadened out the debate, hearing from a diverse and exciting range of speakers who have been involved in various aspects of NPLD: there was lively discussion of the key opportunities and challenges posed by NPLD, and consideration of future directions for research into its impact, value, and long-term legacy. 

Papers and presentations from the day can be found on the Resources page.



10:00 Arrivals, coffee and registration

10:30 - 10:45 Welcome and introduction from Jessica Gardner: University Librarian, University of Cambridge

10:45 - 12:00 Digital Library Futures - Project Report on the Impact of UK Non-Print Legal Deposit (Paul Gooding, University of Glasgow; Melissa Terras, University of Edinburgh; Linda Berube, University of East Anglia).

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 14:30 Panel session - Legal Deposit Perspectives

13:00 - 13:30 Overview of the NPLD Post-Implementation Review (Linda Arnold-Stratford, Legal Deposit Libraries Liaison Manager)

13:30 - 14:00 Estonian Electronic Legal Deposit (Kairi Felt, Head of Collection Development, National Library of Estonia)

14:00: - 14:30 The Evolution of the UK Web Archive (Ian Cooke, Head of Contemporary British Publications, British Library)

14:30 - 15:00 Panel discussion chaired by Melissa Terras.

14:30 - 15:00 Refreshments

15:00 - 16:00 The Sacred Unreadable Artefact: Digital Preservation, Computational Abundance, and Scarce Access. Keynote Lecture from Martin Eve (Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing: Birkbeck, University of London),                       

16:00 - 17:00 Questions, discussion and concluding remarks.


Organised by the Digital Library Futures project team (Paul Gooding, Melissa Terras & Linda Berube), and funded by the AHRC (grant number AH/P005845/1).

Digital Library Futures is an AHRC-funded project that seeks to provide a detailed account of the impact of non-print legal deposit on UK academic deposit libraries.It is the first major project to adopt a user-focused approach to the question of NPLD, and thereby explores how legal deposit collections are accessed and used, and how the regulations and implementation of NPLD interact with emerging trends in information seeking behaviour, digital scholarship and digital inclusion. It will contribute not only to understanding and developing digital collections for academic deposit libraries, but also to international debates on the future of libraries in the digital age.