The National Library of New Zealand has a statutory mandate to preserve the creative and documentary heritage of New Zealand. One of the ways the Library does this is through Legal Deposit.
Legal Deposit is the official legislation which requires publishers – such as newspapers, book publishers and record labels – to deposit their publications with the Library. It applies to sound recordings in all formats, analogue and digital.
The National Library’s music collection is a rich taonga preserved in perpetuity for the benefit of all New Zealanders. Depositing copies under Legal Deposit has benefits. You can be sure that the Library will permanently preserve your label’s recordings in their state-of-the-art repositories. Some labels have already used these collections to re-release some of their historic recordings. Your music will become discoverable to music researchers in New Zealand and overseas.
If your recording is released on multiple formats, then copies of each format are required under Legal Deposit to fully preserve its release history. Two copies of physical release formats are required unless fewer than 100 copies are produced. Only one lossless copy needs to be deposited of a digital release.
The Library will not make your digital recordings available online unless you have authorised the Library to do so or have made them freely available for download online. Otherwise they will only be available for researchers to listen to in the Library’s secure reading room in Wellington.
The National Library’s website provides further information about Legal Deposit, the enabling legislation, contact details and instructions about how you can submit your sound recordings. For more information about the National Library’s music collections, see this page.