Cambridge University Library is one of the six libraries entitled under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act of 2003 to receive material published in the United Kingdom and Ireland, the others being the British Library, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the national libraries of Scotland and Wales, and Trinity College Library Dublin.
Legal deposit has existed in English law since 1662. It helps to ensure that the nation’s published output, and thereby its intellectual record and future published heritage, is collected systematically, to preserve the material for the use of future generations and to make it available for readers within the designated legal deposit libraries.
Since 6 April 2013 legal deposit legislation has also covered material published digitally and online, so that the Legal Deposit Libraries can provide a national archive of the UK’s non-print published material, such as websites, blogs, ejournals, and ebooks.
The English Cataloguing Department is responsible for providing catalogue records for material received via Legal Deposit. Their aim is to enable students, researchers and other users to find relevant resources easily and in a timely fashion. For more information about their activities, the types of material received and other useful information please see their blog.