The National Library of Ireland is the library of record for Ireland, mandated to develop the national collection.
We hold the most outstanding collection of Irish documentary material in the world. Material acquired through legal deposit, donations and purchase is made available in our reading rooms and online, once it has been processed and catalogued. Providing appropriate storage, care and management for all collections is a vital part of our work, and ensures preservation and continued access for future generations.
The NLI aims to collect material on or relating to Ireland and to provide an accurate record of Ireland's output in manuscript, print and born-digital collections for present and future users. We are committed to collecting inclusively to capture the diversity of Irish experience. Our collecting objectives are set out in the Collection Development Policy 2022-2026.
We acquire material by legal deposit, donation and purchase.
Legislation relating to legal deposit obliges publishers to deposit one copy of any publication in the NLI free of charge. The statutory provision for legal deposit in Ireland is covered in the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000. Legal deposit legislation is critical to the development of our national collections and often the NLI holds the only copy of particular material, which is available to the public. It is the NLI’s stated aim to preserve and make this material accessible for future generations.
The following material published in Ireland is covered by legal deposit:
- Newspapers, magazines, journals, annual reports
- Local publications (e.g. community newsletters)
- Government publications
Address for NLI legal deposit:
Legal Deposit Office
Post and Deliveries Centre
National Library of Ireland
Benefits of legal deposit for publishers
- Legal deposit ensures that your publications will be added to the national collections for all to research and enjoy.
- Legal deposit allows us to continue to develop our Irish language collection.
- Your publication will be searchable by an international audience once it is added to the NLI’s catalogue.
- The NLI’s collections are a resource used by researchers of Irish material across the globe.
Full details of other legal deposit libraries can be found online.
We acquire all Northern Irish publications either by donation or purchase. The NLI acquires material of Irish interest published elsewhere; created by an Irish person or on a subject relating to Ireland and we purchase items written by members of the Irish diaspora; books by Irish authors in translation; and works of those who have recently become Irish citizens, as well as those who have made Ireland their temporary home.
The NLI develops its openly-available archive of Irish websites and web data by working through partnerships, with individuals and organisations, to identify websites of interest. Public nominations for inclusion in the NLI Web Archive are also welcome. The NLI Web Archive contains Irish and Irish interest websites hosting many publications which are only issued online.
Each year the NLI receives valuable donations to our collections. We are immensely grateful to the donors who have contributed so generously to the development of the national collections. Selection criteria for donations are set out in the Collection Development Policy 2022-2026. If you are interested in donating materials to the NLI but are not sure if it meets our selection criteria, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.