History of Legal Deposit 1697-

Legal Deposit was introduced into Denmark as early as 1697, when a royal ordinance ordered all printers to deposit five copies of everything they printed with the Royal Library.

The entire Act The act had several successors, one of the most important being the Act of 1781 which extended legal deposit to the entire kingdom, then including Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands and the Duchies of Slesvig and Holstein. In contrast to previous practice the materials received through legal deposit were now to be placed on separate shelves in order to form a distinct collection, the national collection of printed materials.

Another significant act was that of 1902, which included all printed matter at a time when industrialisation reached the printing industry. The result was a major increase in materials received by the Royal Library, and a new act of 1927 limited the deposited intake, primarily by reducing the number of copies to the Royal Library to one and by extending the list of ephemera exempted from deposit.

During the second half of the twentieth century several efforts were made to revise the law of 1927 and in 1997 a new law on legal deposit was passed by the Danish parliament and signed into law by the Queen on June 10th 1997. This law signalled a revolution in the history of legal deposit. The law covered not only printed materials, but all works published in Denmark, regardless of the medium used for the production of copies. This definition also covered published works on the Internet, that formed a final and independent unit and were produced for a Danish audience. Thus, Danish legal deposit legislation covered at least part of the Internet until 2005, when the entire domain <.dk> was subject to legal deposit.

Latest update: 07 november, 2005