Legal Deposit Office

Duties of the National Library of Finland include collecting Finnish publications in cooperation with the publishing industry. The collecting includes printed publications, sound and other recordings, digital publications, and other online material. This is based on the Act on Collecting and Preserving Cultural Materials 1433/2007.

NB! The reception points of the Legal Deposit Office are closed during the possible power cuts. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Service description and instructions

Kaisa Lekan piirtämä Vapaakappaletoimiston kortti, jossa kaksi hiirtä liikuttaa erilaisia aineistoja.

Duties of the National Library of Finland include collecting Finnish publications in cooperation with the publishing industry. The collecting includes printed publications, sound and other recordings, digital publications, and other online material. This is based on the Act on Collecting and Preserving Cultural Materials 1433/2007 (available in Finnish and Swedish).

The purpose of the service is to preserve national cultural materials and make them available to the public today and in the future. Legal deposit collections also include material that would otherwise quickly become unavailable or that other libraries do not collect.

The materials are described in the the national bibliography Fennica and in the national discography Viola, when applicable. Both are available for use through the National Library Search Service. Collected materials are available to the public at the National Library and at other legal deposit libraries. Legal deposit collections located in different parts of Finland support regional equality.

Annual statistics on all Finnish publications and recordings are based on the number of legal deposit copies received.

You can print our brochure here (PDF)

Legal deposit libraries

Finland has six legal deposit libraries:

Books, periodicals, serial publications, sheet music and maps are collected by all legal deposit libraries. Newspapers, sound and other recordings are only collected by the National Library. Ephemera are collected by the National Library and the Turku University Library.

Online materials and materials archived by the National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI) are available through legal deposit terminals at all legal deposit libraries as well as at the Library of Parliament and at the National Audiovisual Institute.


Legal deposit copies are delivered to the National Library by

  • the manufacturer, if the publication or recording is manufactured in Finland
  • the publisher, if the publication or recording is manufactured abroad but intended for distribution in Finland
  • the importer, if the publisher has no office in Finland
  • for online materials, the online publisher is responsible for legal deposit. Aggregators, online bookstores and online music stores are also regarded as online publishers.

Frequency of delivery

Legal deposit copies of materials produced in Finland are submitted to the National Library four times a year: in January, April, July and October. Materials produced abroad are submitted within 30 days of the import date of the material. When necessary, different deposit schedules can be negotiated.

Online material must be submitted within 60 days of the National Library having notified the online publisher of the legal deposit responsibility. If this notification also covers unpublished material, the 60-day period will be counted from the publication date. Regular deposit schedule can be agreed upon (at e.g. once, twice or four times a year).

According to the Act on Collecting and Preserving Cultural Materials (1433/2007), deliveries must be accompanied by a packing list, in two copies. One copy will remain at the National Library and the other will be returned to the depositor with a note of successful delivery. The list must include standard identification numbers of the publications and recordings in the delivery, number of items included, and a note of the period of time the delivery covers.

A signed and stamped packing list verifies that the publications in the list have been deposited.

Delivery addresses

The materials are to be delivered to the Helsinki location of the National Library.

The exception is newspapers, which are recorded on microfilm, and must be sent to the National Library’s Mikkeli unit.

An online form is available for depositing online material and other digital publications. If the amount of material to be deposited is very large, an SFTP connection or data storage media may be used. More information on depositing online publications.

Please note

  • The depositor is responsible for all expenses (including shipping)
  • All materials must be provided complete and in the exact form in which they are distributed
  • Legal deposit copies must include the year of production
  • If the publication is deemed confidential as according to the Act on the Openness of Government Activities 621/1999 (available in Finnish and Swedish) or other legislation, this must be indicated in the delivery. Public access to confidential material is restricted according to the Act
  • The National Library can grant exceptions to the deposit requirements regarding the number of copies deposited, on application from the depositor (form available in  Finnish and Swedish)
  • If the deposit responsibility is neglected, the manufacturer or publisher responsible for the submission of legal deposit copies may be subject to a conditional fine to enforce compliance with the legal deposit responsibility (Act on Collecting and Preserving Cultural Materials, 1433/2007, section 27).

Printed publications

Kuvia kirjoista hyllyissä

Legal deposit copies are required of all printed publications distributed in Finland, such as books, newspapers, maps, sheet music, and ephemera. Copies must be submitted regardless of whether the publications have an identifying number (e.g., ISBN, ISSN, ISMN) or whether they are distributed commercially.


Books are deposited in six copies. New deposit copies are not submitted for reprints which are identical to a previous edition and published under the same identifier number (e.g., ISBN). Print-on-demand publications are deposited similarly to other publications. If the print run of a publication is very small, the number of required deposit copies may be reduced, on application (form available in Finnish and Swedish) from the depositor.

Periodicals and series

Periodicals, serial publications and updatable loose-leaf publications are deposited in six copies. Newspapers are deposited in one copy.

Periodicals include regularly published magazines and journals that have articles of general or specialist interest. Printed periodicals may have any type of size, shape, or printing material. Periodicals may be subscribed, sold as newsstand copies, or they might be sent to members or customers. Typical periodicals include newsstand magazines; academic journals; official publications by public bodies; member magazines of trade unions, political organizations, sports clubs, or family associations; magazines of parishes, municipalities, and educational institutes as well as staff and customer magazines.

Newspapers include papers that are published 1 to 7 times per week and include national or local news. Newspapers may be dailies, local newspapers, or free newspapers. One legal deposit copy is required for newspapers. Unlike with all other publications, deposit copies of newspapers are submitted to the National Library's Centre for Preservation and Digitisation in Mikkeli.

Serial publications include yearbooks, statistical series, series of laws and decrees, as well as series comprising of separate works, such as publication series of universities and research institutes.

Sheet music

Sheet music publications are deposited in six copies. Legal deposit copies of orchestral works must be sent for both the full score and the individual parts for each instrument. Print-on-demand publications are deposited similarly to other sheet music publications

If the print run of a publication is very small, the number of required deposit copies may be reduced, on application (form available in Finnish and Swedish) from the depositor.

More information on depositing online material can be found on the Online material page.

Legal deposit copies are not required for manuscripts, sheet music intended for rent, or sheet music copies made for internal use and not intended for publication.


Maps are submitted in six legal deposit copies. The copies must be submitted unfolded (e.g., inside or wrapped around a protective tube), even when the actual sale or distribution copies are folded.


Ephemera mainly include publications related to daily life which are most often intended for temporary use and which relatively rapidly lose their relevance. Ephemera are often distributed to the public free of charge. Classifying a publication as ephemera is not based on the extent of its print run or the physical size of the publication.

Two legal deposit copies are required of ephemera, as their content and nature do not warrant their archiving in as many copies as books or periodicals. All legal deposit copies must indicate the publication year.

Ephemera includes:

  • advertisements, brochures, price lists, product catalogues, user guides
  • instructions published by public bodies or other organizations, programmes, plans, guides, chain letters, contracts
  • publications printed for conferences, performances, exhibitions, competitions and similar events, e.g., programmes, invitations, brochures
  • calendars and almanacs
  • catalogues and directories, e.g., service catalogues, phone and membership directories and results lists
  • posters, postcards, art reproductions, bookplates, scrap pictures, activity and colouring books, paper dolls
  • games (e.g., board and card games) NB! For computer and console games, see Video games.

Legal deposit copies are not required of ephemera with very little information, image or sound content. This material includes:

  • labels
  • prints on fabric or objects
  • envelopes
  • invitations to family celebrations (e.g., wedding, funeral, and birthday invitations)
  • business cards
  • wrapping papers and packing materials
  • forms.

Practical instructions

Legal deposit copies of posters are required. Posters submitted for archiving as deposit copies must not be folded. This means that large posters must be delivered inside or wrapped around a protective tube.

Kuva erilaisista vanhoista esitteistä

Sound and other recordings

Kuva Kuparilinna-yhtyeen albumista vinyylinä, cd:nä ja kasettina

Legal deposit copies submitted to the National Library are required of all recordings which include sound, image, or text - including vinyl records and CDs, cassette tapes, audiobooks and magazines, CD-ROMs, video games, publications on USB data storage devices, and combinations of recordings and printed publications. One legal deposit copy must be submitted of all recordings. The entire publication must be deposited, in the format in which it is distributed to the public.

Legal deposit copies are required of all recordings distributed in Finland.

Legal deposit copies must be submitted of all recordings manufactured in Finland, and of all recordings manufactured abroad if at least 50 copies of the recording have been imported.

Archiving of film, radio, and television materials is carried out by the National Audiovisual Institute.

Music recordings

Legal deposit copies are required of all Finnish recordings, including singles, LPs, and compilations. The output of the Finnish music publishing industry is preserved in the National Collection in its entirety.

Music recording formats include audio CDs (including CD-Rs), vinyl records, cassette tapes and USB data storage devices. If a recording is published in several different formats, one deposit copy is required for each format, even if the content of the recordings is identical.

Legal deposits are required of all recording publications by Finnish producers. More information on depositing online material can be found on the Online material page.

Speech recordings

Speech recordings include audiobooks, story and relaxation recordings, audio magazines, and language courses.

Video games

The statutory legal deposit covers video games published in a physical medium and produced in Finland, or localised for the Finnish market. This includes games:

  • which have been designed or created by or in cooperation with a Finnish person or organization, such as a game developer
  • which have been translated into Finnish or include Finnish voice acting
  • whose packaging includes material which has been translated into Finnish, entirely or in part, such as an instruction manual.

The material must be provided complete, in the form in which it is distributed. One copy must be deposited for each publication version. For reasons of long-term preservation, the game must not have digital rights management. If the game is published with digital rights management, the National Library has the right to circumvent or remove such technology.

The National Library preserves a representative and diverse sample of games distributed digitally.

CD-ROMs and other recordings

CD-ROM publications include books, serial publications and ephemera (e.g., product and advertising catalogues, user guides, etc.). Legal deposit copies must be submitted of such publications regardless of whether they have an identifying number (e.g., ISBN, ISSN, ISMN) or whether they are distributed commercially.

Number of deposit copies

Number of legal deposit copies to be submitted by material type

Six copies:
Customer magazines
Staff magazines
Free newspapers (see also newspapers, below)
Member magazines
Publication series
Conference publications (with articles)
Nautical charts
Sheet music
Exhibition publications (with articles)
Updatable loose leaf publications
Family associations’ newsletters
Statistical publications

Two copies:
Price lists
Announcement papers
Lists of publications
Plans (e.g., town and provincial plans)
Conference programmes
Municipal reports
Instructions and user guides
Board games
Tabloid headline posters
Advertising papers
Programmes (e.g., for theatre performances, exhibitions, or sports competitions)
Guides (e.g., user, staff, study, and service guides)
Games (e.g., board, card, and role playing games)
Telephone directories
Activity books
Crossword puzzle publications
Sudoku publications
Brief statistics publications
Financial statements
Annual reports
Action plans
Collective agreements
Election advertisements
Insurance terms
Financial reports
Colouring books

One copy:
Video games
Sound recordings (music and speech)
CD and DVD-ROM recordings

Publications exempt from legal deposit:
Prints on fabric or objects
Invitations to family celebrations (e.g., wedding, funeral, and birthday invitations)
Business cards
Wrapping papers and packing materials
Reprints that are identical to a previous edition
Graphic arts originals
Printed publications and recordings intended exclusively for distribution abroad

Online material

Sanapilvi verkkoaineistoihin liittyvistä sanoista

The National Library of Finland is responsible for archiving Finnish public online material. The online material to be harvested and preserved constitutes a representative and diverse range of material available online for the public.

The harvesting and preservation of online material is based on a collection policy approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture, as based on the Act on Collecting and Preserving Cultural Materials.

Publicly available online materials are collected using an automated collection software in an annual harvest, as well as through thematic harvests that focus on a particular topic. The National Library may also request an online publisher to deposit materials, if automatic harvesting is not possible. In such cases, the material is received as a deposit from the online publisher or aggregator.

Both collected and deposited electronic material – including e-books, e-newspapers and music recordings – are accessible to the public on legal deposit terminals at the National Library and other legal deposit libraries, the Library of Parliament, and the National Audiovisual Institute.

Depositing online material

Material received through deposits from online publishers include electronic:

  • books and magazines
  • publication series
  • government publications
  • maps
  • music recordings and sheet music.

A web form is available for submitting online material.

Large amounts of material may also be submitted through an SFTP connection or in a data storage device (such as an external hard disk drive or a USB flash drive). More information on submitting online material is available via email at vapaakappale(at)

If you submit metadata in ONIX-format, the metadata must include at least the following fields (link to an Excel-table).

Examples of ONIX-metadata in XML-format (the files are zip-compressed):

Automatic harvesting of web pages

1) The annual harvest

Harvest of Finnish online material is carried out at least once a year with a web crawler. The National Library archives websites with .fi or .ax domain names. Finnish websites with .com, .net or other domain names are also archived. The annual harvest is not based on a particular content, topic, or theme.

The web crawler cannot collect all Finnish online publications. For example, paid online publications and databases are not available for automatic harvesting. Preserving this material requires cooperation with online publishers.

The annual harvests are described in the national bibliography on a collection level. The archiving of a particular website may be checked from the directory of the web archive. Keyword searches to harvested websites are also possible on the legal deposit terminals.

2) Thematic harvests

Purpose of thematic harvesting is to complement the annual harvest and to record online material relating to a particular issue or topical event. Such themes may include:

  • significant government events and affairs (e.g., elections)
  • other major events (e.g., sports competitions, cultural events)
  • important and/or unexpected major events in global politics, natural disasters, etc.
  • harvests planned in cooperation with other memory organizations or with research institutions.

Links for thematic harvests are gathered by the National Library staff. Material collected in thematic harvests is available in the web archive. Thematic harvests are described in the national bibliography on a collection level.

3) Material excluded from harvesting

Online material excluded from harvesting and preserving include:

  • intranet pages of companies and organizations
  • newsgroups and Internet forums
  • online material with very little information, image, or sound content (such as sound and image samples in online shops, web forms and system software available on the Internet)
  • registers and databases that are documents as described in the Archives Act, or which are comprised of such documents.

However, these materials may be included in the online archive through automated harvesting.

Technical information about the automatic harvesting of online material

The National Library conducts most of its harvesting using the Heritrix web crawler. The main targets for the web crawler are websites, but other data is also harvested (e.g., from FTP servers). The harvesting is carried out so that the load on a single web server is distributed over a long period of time and the overall strain on the network remains minor. Even the most extensive harvests have not caused a noticeable increase in data traffic on the core network level. Possible load spikes may be reported via email at kk-webcrawler(at)

When harvesting online material from websites, the National Library web crawler identifies itself with the following HTTP values:

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; heritrix/1.14.0+

The National Library also searches for websites based in Finland by scanning through web servers and checking if they distribute websites to the outside world (HTTP/port 80). The search for new websites is conducted by the National Library computer (IP

As a rule, the harvesting complies with the content of a possible robots.txt file. However, the National Library may also decide to harvest material disallowed by the robots.txt file if it is considered significant for the harvest in progress.

All harvested files as well as protocol-level data traffic during the file transfer will be stored in its entirety in ARC or WARC format. The National Library preserves these archive files in its databases.

Any questions regarding web harvesting may be sent to the address vapaakappale(at)

Necessary forms

Here you will find different forms necessary with legal deposit.

Submitting digital publications

You can submit e-books and other electronic publications through a webform.

Form templates for packing lists

A packing list should be attached in two copies to every legal deposit delivery.

Application for reducing number of legal deposit copies

The form (or an email with the same information content) is sent to vapaakappale(at) Alternatively, you may print the form and post it to the Legal Deposit Office.

Contact information

The National Library of Finland
Legal Deposit Office
PO Box 15
00014 University of Helsinki

Phone (information): 02941 44321 weekdays 9 a.m. to 12 noon 

Small legal deposit deliveries can be brought directly to the Legal Deposit Office at Yliopistonkatu 1 (Google Maps) (weekdays 9.00 to 12.00, other times on agreement). Please use the buzzer on the right-hand side of the entrance and note that it may take a while for the Legal Deposit Office to answer.

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Postal deliveries

When placing an order through the Posti website to send a parcel, please note the following:

  1. 1. When entering recipient details, please select Send a parcel and then To a Posti outlet. No additional services subject to a fee are required, but you cannot send a parcel for collection from a parcel locker.
  2. 2. In the SMS field under Notice of arrival, enter the phone number of the National Library porters, 050 448 7050.

At a Posti outlet, parcels should be sent as a regular parcel even though the address is a PO Box. The University of Helsinki/ The National Library has a business service agreement with Posti on delivery of items to the destination address.

When using the SmartShip service intended for businesses, choose Postal Parcel as the service on the Shipments form to ensure your parcel can be sent using a PO Box address. Under SMS-number on the form, enter the phone number of the National Library porters, 050 448 7050.


Large deliveries

All large legal deposit deliveries must be made (by vehicle only) via the Kluuvi service tunnel to the underground reception point of legal deposit copies of the National Library. The reception point is open on weekdays from 9.00 to 14.00 (until 17.00 on agreement).

Location of the reception point:

The National Library of Finland
Reception of materials
Puutarhakatu 1, Kluuvin tunneli (Kluuvi service tunnel)
00100 Helsinki

The Kluuvi service tunnel can be accessed at Puutarhakatu 1 (Google Maps) (red arrow on the map above). The entrance to the National Library is located approximately 300 metres from the Kluuvi service tunnel entrance, on the left-hand side of the tunnel. For instructions on driving in the tunnel, please call the porters on 050 448 7050 (weekdays from 9.00 to 16.00).



Newspapers are delivered to the Centre for Preservation and Digitisation in Mikkeli:

The National Library of Finland
Mikkeli Unit
Saimaankatu 6
50100 Mikkeli

Publication statistics

Kuva vuoden 2014 julkaisutilastosta, jossa kerrotaan eri tiheydellä ilmestyvien aikakauslehtien osuutta vapaakappaleina saaduista lehdistä

Statistics on Finnish printed publications and recordings are based on legal deposit copies received. The statistics are also published for the cultural and mass communication statistics of Statistics Finland and for UNESCO's Statistical Yearbook.

You will find the statistics on the page Legal Deposit and Publisher Statistics.