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Electronic Legal Deposit

Access to eLD content currently unavailable

Update  June 11th, 2024: The disruption of the Library’s access to publications normally available via UK Electronic Legal Deposit is ongoing, following the cyberattack on the British Library at the end of October 2023.


The British Library continues to work with the Library of Trinity College Dublin and the four other UK legal deposit libraries to restore access to UK electronic legal deposit materials that were deposited prior to the cyber-attack and we now expect this to be available for the new academic year (2024-25). The Library will update you on specific dates nearer the time. For the latest up-to-date information on the steps towards recovery, see the British Library’s blog

What is UK Electronic Legal Deposit?

Electronic Legal Deposit items are materials that the Library has received under Legal Deposit Legislation. This legislation entitles the Library to a copy of every item published in the UK.

This material is not the same as commercially available digital material. Access is subject to a number of important restrictions:

  • UK eLD materials can only be viewed on Library premises using Library devices (e.g. PCs and laptops);
  • Only one person can view each item at a time;
  • Digital copying is not permitted under current legislation. You cannot copy and paste, take a screenshot, download or scan material;
  • Some materials are accessible from anywhere in the world, including some websites in the UK Web Archive, and official publications licenced under the UK Open Government Licence. These currently represent a very small percentage of the overall Electronic Legal Deposit collections; the remote access is normally indicated by the wording of the access link in the records in Stella Search.

How can I find UK eLD content?

UK eLD items can be identified in Stella Search as follows:

  • In the case of e-books, by the phrase: Available on Library reading room PCs only. Click here for access

  • And in the case of e-journals, by the appearance of a button stating: UK eLD (Library PCs only)