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Legal Deposit

Here's a reminder to my comix and zine publishing friends, here in Australia as well as you foreigners. It's about 'Legal Deposit'.

I only learned about this back around 1998 when I was doing Sick Puppy Comix. I got a letter from the National Library of Australia (in Canberra) letting me know that they had copies of SP #1 and 2, and if any other copies had been published to kindly send those for 'Legal Deposit'. It was news to me. Not only had I never sent them any Sick Puppys in the first place, but I didn't know what the hell 'legal deposit' meant. It was pretty cool to receive that letter though, and I had fun wondering how the National Library had gotten hold of my comix.

Anyway, I had forgotten all about this legal deposit thing years ago, but the subject came up recently when I met a friend for drinks just before Christmas. She's a Research Librarian, and somehow the conversation got around to the subject of legal deposit. I told her about that letter I received in 1998, and said something about how surprising it was to me that National and State libraries collected stuff like 'underground comix', 'Adults Only' type stuff, but my librarian friend told me I would be amazed what other stuff they collected. I said, what, they don't collect porno magazines do they? She smiled and said yep, they sure do. Underground comix and porno mags are publications, and like any other publications, have cultural, sociological, historical, etc., value. That's pretty cool, isn't it?

So that was really great to hear about, and perfect timing to be reminded about this legal deposit business! So now I'm mailing a copy of Blackguard #1 to the National Library of Australia, and a copy to the State Library of New South Wales, and I urge my fellow comix- and zine-publishing friends to do the same. I'm sure you overseas dudes have something similar where you are, but here's a link to information about it for Australians:

Legal Deposit info


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 10th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
It's good to know that all that smut is being preserved for the ages. Kind of reminds me of that doomsday seed bank they've got buried somewhere in a secret vault far beneath a mountain
Jan. 13th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC)
Here's to Legal Deposit and Doomsday Seed Banks! Hurrah!!
Jan. 11th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
Legal deposit
Hi there, I find it very interesting to read your blog post, since I'm working in the legal deposit area in the National Library of Australia in Canberra. I'm very glad to read that we've caught up with Sick puppy comix, because we're always keen to collect the publishing output of Australia. In your excellent words, collecting all publications that have cultural, sociological, historical values is what we try to do. We're really grateful when publishers do the right thing and send in their publications on legal deposit. This allows us to use our resources to pursue other publishers who may not be aware of their obligations. This year we'll be working hard to get in touch with publishers out there who are more "on the fringe", producing comics, horror fictions, graphic novels, etc. We want to get in touch with them to let them know about legal deposit and to make sure a copy of their publications is always sent to the National Library.

We're also very open to suggestions from publishers. Please contact us any time if you have any questions at all. An email to legaldep@nla.gov.au will reach us.

And you're absolutely right, most countries in the world have legal deposit legislations or some administrative arrangements to that effect.

Wan (National Library of Australia)
Jan. 13th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
Re: Legal deposit
Wan, many thanks indeed for your comment, and what a pleasant surprise to hear from somebody on the 'inside'!
I'll be doing my best to encourage comix and zine friends to send their works in to you for legal deposit.
Stratu (Blackguard)
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:17 am (UTC)
Legal deposit
I absolutely agree with Wan (National Library of Australia) comments.
I think it is an absolute necessity to preserve for future generations the social comment of today.
So please spread the word about the benefits of Legal Deposit and remember to deposit a copy of your publication with the National Library and the State Library where item was published/printed/created.
Jan. 15th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Stratu, I'm really glad to have your support and yes, go and spread the news. Wan
Jan. 15th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
You Hit The Big Time, Dude
Speaking as one of them there troglodyte foreigners, I am impressed by your country's undertaking to preserve all aspects of its culture. When I witness a government actually serving the needs of its people, it gives me hope that perhaps, somehow, my insignificant life of tormented anguish, shattered dreams, wasted opportunities, and endless frustration hasn't been in vain. As far as I know, we have no such thing as Legal Deposit here in the Virgin Islands, but this is understandable since the volume of tourist brochures alone would be unmanageable. I am pleased, however, to learn that Sick Puppy, and now Blackguard, has been preserved for posterity's sake.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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