Legal Deposit Unit

Contact Legal Deposit Unit

Sigrid Meisinger
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2312

Legal deposits by Bavarian publishing houses

The objective of mandatory deposits from the production of commercial publishing houses and self-publishers is to collect a substantial part of the cultural goods created in Bavaria as comprehensively as possible, preserving them for future generations.

Mandatory deposits play a very important role with respect to both quantity and quality, since Munich is the city of publishing houses with Germany's second highest book output. The holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek are increased by around 50,000 volumes annually through the deposit of mandatory copies.

Legal basis

The tradition of the deposit of mandatory copies in Bavaria goes back to the year 1663. The latest legal regulation of such deposits was specified in the "Gesetz über die Ablieferung von Pflichtstücken" (Law on legal deposits, Pflichtstückegesetz, PflStG) of 6 August 1986, which for the first time provides for a compensation for particularly expensive works published in small print runs only.

Gesetz über die Ablieferung von Pflichtstücken (Law on legal deposits of 6 August 1986)  (PDF, 21 KB)
Entschädigungsrichtlinien (Compensation guidelines of 1 October 2006)  (PDF, 13 KB)
Antrag auf Gewährung einer Entschädigung (Request for the grant of a compensation)  (PDF, 12 KB)

Not all physical media works published in Bavaria are subject to the law on legal deposits. In addition to the exceptions specified in the law, further types of publications are exempt from the duty of depositing a copy, such as colouring books, CDs with music only, flyers or texts intended for operational or company-internal purposes only.

Depositing mandatory copies

Mandatory copies have to be delivered to the following address:

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Ludwigstr. 16
80539 Munich

Publishing houses that have items delivered in person and require a detailed confirmation of receipt including all titles need to make an appointment with the Legal Deposit Unit.

One of the two required mandatory copies is kept by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; the other one is forwarded to another Bavarian library in line with the regional or specialisation principle.