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 Ministry of Education has defined the National Library’s collections as one of the key national research infrastructures (in Finnish only).
The materials are described in the Finnish National Bibliography, Fennica, and in the National Discography of Finland, Viola, when applicable. 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.
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
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 If this notification also covers unpublished material, the 60-day period will be counted from the publication date.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.
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 microfilming unit, to the address:
The National Library of Finland
Centre for Preservation and Digitisation
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.
Free newspapers (also see newspapers)
Conference publications (with articles)
Exhibition publications (with articles)
Updatable loose leaf publications
Family associations’ newsletters
Lists of publications
Plans (e.g., town and provincial plans)
Instructions and user guides
Tabloid headline posters
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)
Crossword puzzle magazines
Brief statistics publications
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)
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
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, 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. Publications in newspaper format which cannot be considered newspapers because of their content or frequency of publication are also classified as periodicals. 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 churches or congregations, municipalities, or schools 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 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
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.
Legal deposit copies are not required of ephemera with very little information, image or sound content. This material includes:
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.
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.
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 include audiobooks, story and relaxation recordings, audio magazines, and language courses.
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:
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-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.
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 (in Finnish) 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.
Material received through deposits from online publishers include electronic:
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 e-vapaa(at)helsinki.fi.
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):
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:
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:
However, these materials may be included in the online archive through automated harvesting.
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)helsinki.fi.
When harvesting online material from websites, the National Library web crawler identifies itself with the following HTTP values:
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 nwa5a.lib.helsinki.fi (IP 184.108.40.206).
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 e-vapaa(at)helsinki.fi.
Here you will find different forms necessary with legal deposit.
You can submit e-books and other electronic publications through a webform.
A packing list should be attached in two copies to every legal deposit delivery.
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.
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)
Legal deposit deliveries by mail: If you use the Posti SmartShip ordering channel for business customers, you need to select the "Postal parcel" service on the order form, in order to be able to use our PO Box address. For the required SMS-number in the form, enter the number for the National Library doormen: 050 448 7050.
All postal parcels must be sent/delivered directly to the National Library, i.e. not to be collected from a Posti outlet or a Posti Service point.
(weekdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on agreement to 5 p.m.)
All large deliveries of legal deposit copies are submitted through Kluuvi Tunnel (Kluuvin tunneli) to the Reception of materials located underground:
The National Library of Finland
Reception of materials
Puutarhakatu 1, Kluuvin tunneli (Kluuvi tunnel)
Entrance to Kluuvi Tunnel is at Puutarhakatu 1 (the red arrow in the map on the left). There is a ca. 300 meters drive from the entrance to the Legal Deposit Office underground entrance. On the way you will pass a sign to the Fennia-kortteli, two Kluuvi signs and a Helsingin yliopisto/Kaisa-talo sign. The Kansalliskirjasto (National Library) entrance is on the left hand side of the tunnel. When necessary, you can get directions for driving in the tunnel from our doormen, tel. 050 448 7050 (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
Small deliveries can be submitted by foot to Yliopistonkatu 1, weekdays 9 a.m. to 12 noon (other times on agreement). Use the door buzzer ("Vapaakappaletoimisto") on the right hand side of the door. Please note that it will take a short while before the buzzer is contacted to the Legal Deposit Office. See the map below:
Newspapers are delivered to the Centre for Preservation and Digitisation in Mikkeli:
The National Library of Finland
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