Printed materials and recordings

The Act on Collecting and Preserving Cultural Materials requires legal deposit copies of all publications distributed in Finland. The required number of copies is indicated under each publication type. Legal deposit copies must be submitted regardless of whether the publication has a standard identifier number (e.g., ISBN, ISSN) or whether it is in commercial distribution. 



Books are deposited in six copies. The normal legal deposit requirement also applies to print-on-demand publications. New deposit copies are not submitted for unrevised reprints published under the same identifier number (e.g., ISBN). If the print run of the publication is exceptionally small, the number of required deposit copies may be reduced upon application.


Ephemera mainly include publications related to daily life which are most often intended for temporary use and which relatively rapidly lose their relevance.  The size of the print run or the physical size of the publication have no bearing on its classification as ephemera. 

Ephemera include price lists, instructions, product catalogues, calendars, posters and games. The section on the required numbers of legal deposit copies features a more detailed list of ephemera covered by the legal deposit requirement as well as material for which no deposit copies are required. Instructions relating to games are in the section for games


Periodicals and serial publications

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 containing articles of general or special interest. Printed periodicals may be of any shape, size or material. Periodicals may be subscribed, sold as newsstand copies, or sent to members or customers. Typical periodicals include newsstand magazines; academic journals; official publications by public bodies; membership magazines of trade unions, political organisations, 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 one to seven times per week and that include national or local news. Newspapers may be dailies, local newspapers or free newspapers. One legal deposit copy is required for newspapers, which unlike other deposit material must be brought to the Mikkeli unit of the National Library

Serial publications include yearbooks, statistical series, series of laws and statutes, and series consisting of separate works, such as publication series of universities and research institutes. 

Sheet music publications

Like books, sheet music publications are deposited in six copies. Orchestral work submissions must include both the full score and individual instrument parts. 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, upon application by the depositor. Further information on submitting online material is available on the Online material page

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


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

Sound and other recordings

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 is required for sound and other 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 by Finnish organisations or individuals. 

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. 

The National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI) is responsible for archiving film recordings as well as radio and TV material. 

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 its entirety in the National Collection. 

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 deposit copies must be submitted of all music recordings made and distributed in Finland. Further information on submitting online material is available on the Online materials page

Speech recordings 

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

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. 


Games covered by the legal deposit requirement include physical editions of video games and boardgames that are Finnish or localised for the Finnish market. These include games: 

  • Designed or created by or in cooperation with a Finnish person or organisation, such as a game developer, 
  • Translated into Finnish or including Finnish voice acting, or 
  • 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 and in the format in which it is distributed. For the interests of digital preservation, the game cannot feature any digital rights management (DRM). In preserving game material, the National Library has the right when necessary to circumvent or remove digital rights management technology. 

The required numbers of deposit copies for games are: 

  • One copy of the physical edition of console and computer games 
  • Two copies of boardgames, card games, puzzles and role-playing games 

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