The Luxembourg National Library (Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg - BnL) archives all material published within the territory of Luxembourg—as well as material published abroad concerning Luxembourg—that is submitted to it for legal deposit.
A publication is defined as any document, be it paper or digital, that is generally produced in multiple copies for the purpose of being made public, even if the target audience is restricted.
Legal deposit is compulsory and legal deposit copies of publications must be submitted before a claim is made by the BnL.
Each year, the BnL compiles the national bibliography of the publications deposited with it.
Who is concerned
The natural or legal person who is required to submit the legal deposit is:
- publishers or their representative or;
- the printer, producer or author of the publication.
In the case of doctoral dissertations, application papers and research papers, legal deposit copies are submitted by the public or private institution that is the recipient of the documents.
PrerequisitesTo be subject to the legal deposit requirements by the Luxembourg National Library, a publication must be edited in Luxembourg, which is to say:
- any publication by an editor (natural or legal person), or failing this, a printer, a producer or an author either residing in Luxembourg or having their registered office in Luxembourg;
- any publication created in Luxembourg by an editor (natural or legal person), or failing this, a printer, a producer or an author either residing abroad or having their registered office abroad;
- any publication, thesis or research paper whose creation was supported by a public sector body in Luxembourg.
The publication in question may be:
- printed and graphic: books, brochures, newspapers, periodicals, posters, calendars, musical scores, choreographic works, plays, braille publications or any other document concerning the political, economic, social, cultural, scientific, religious or tourism life in Luxembourg;
- digital on a physical medium, regardless of the nature of that medium, and publications referred to in the previous paragraph produced by a method other than printing (e-books, e-journals, databases, software, etc.);
- without a physical medium (publications referred to in the 2 previous paragraphs) and made available to the public via an electronic network (websites and online content).
The following publications are not subject to legal deposit, regardless of their medium:
- printed personal document: family event announcements, personal and address cards, invitation cards and letters, letters and envelopes with headers, etc.;
- printed commercial documents: letterheads, invoices, business cards, order forms, labels, instructions and user guides;
- printed administrative documents: templates, registers, circulars, control sheets, forms, etc.;
- financial securities.
Printed and digital publications must be deposited at the BnL no later than 1 month after being made available to the public.
Doctoral theses, application papers and research papers must be deposited no later than 4 months after being sent to the recipient institution.
There is no charge for legal deposit submissions to the Luxembourg National Library.
How to proceed
Legal deposit declaration
The legal deposit declaration must be completed on MyGuichet.lu.
The declaration form must be submitted with the printed and/or digital legal-deposit copies of the publications. In return, the BnL issues a legal deposit receipt to the applicant.
Submission of documents
Persons who wish to submit printed publications can send them by post or submit them in person at the BnL reception desk.
Digital publications on a physical medium may be sent electronically in accordance with the BnL's instructions. If electronic submissions are not possible for justified technical reasons, digital publications must be submitted on an appropriate physical medium determined by the Library:
- by hand; or
- by simple mail.
Publications with no physical medium can be submitted as soon as:
- the BNL has free and guaranteed access to the publication and its metadata;
- the BnL is entitled to make a high-quality copy of the publication.
In other cases, the producer must submit, at the Library's request, any information or tools required to copy the publications.
If this type of publication cannot be submitted online for justified technical reasons, it must be delivered on an appropriate physical medium determined by the Library:
- by hand; or
- by post.
Number of copies
The number of copies to be submitted depends on the type of publication:
For choreographic works, handwritten musical scores and theatrical works for which fewer than 10 copies have been reproduced or published, as well as identical reissues of such publications, only 1 copy must be deposited.
For reprints with no changes other than spelling or typographical changes, 2 copies must be deposited.
Doctoral theses, application papers and research papers must be deposited with 1 hardcopy and 1 digital copy.
It should be noted that the submitted copies must be of perfect quality and identical to the copies intended for the public.
One copy of all works (books and pamphlets) concerning the language and literature of Luxembourg is sent by the BnL to the National Centre for Literature (Centre national de littérature).