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Legal deposit of digital publications

  • What is legal deposit?
  • Submit your legal deposit in 5 steps
  • What happens to your publication?
  • Contact us
  • For further information
  • Legal deposit enables Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) to make Québec’s digital heritage materials available to the public. Find out how to entrust BAnQ with a digital publication.

    What is legal deposit?

    Under the Act respecting Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, publishers, as a rule, must deposit, free of charge, one or two copies of all works published in Québec within seven days of their release to the public. This requirement is called legal deposit and applies to both analogue publications (printed or on hard media) and digital ones.

    This page refers to the legal deposit of digital publications. You can also read the Legal deposit of analogue publications page.

    What digital publications are subject to legal deposit?

    Legal deposit applies to many types of digital publications, such as:

    • Books and brochures
    • Serials (journals, magazines, newspapers, annual reports, etc.)
    • Government websites
    • Media websites covering national news
    • Maps and plans
    • Sound recordings
    • Films
    • Sheet music
    • Performing arts programmes

     For more information on the harvesting program of websites subject to legal deposit, please read the Website Harvesting Program.

    Certain specific classes of published documents are exempted from the obligation of deposit. The complete list of these classes can be found in Article 3 of the Regulation respecting the legal deposit.

    Publications whose retail price exceeds $5000 should not be submitted, but some crucial information must be sent to BAnQ (Articles 4 and 5 of the Regulation respecting the legal deposit).


    What about agreements regarding the legal deposit of digital publications?

    BAnQ has signed an agreement with the Cinémathèque québécoise entrusting it with the preservation of Québec films. The producer of a Québec film must, within six months of its first public exhibition, submit a copy to the Cinémathèque québécoise for the purpose of legal deposit.


    How many copies must be deposited?

    Digital publications require the deposit of a single copy.

    Submit your legal deposit in 5 steps

    Step 1: Make sure legal deposit applies to your publication

    Make sure legal deposit applies to your publication by referring to Article 3 of the Regulation respecting the legal deposit.

    Please note that a published document must at the very least feature a mandatory set of elements: title page, page count, publication date, name of the author and name of the editor. It must also have received some basic editing regarding language, layout and presentation.

    The publication must also be released on a platform other than BAnQ numérique (the institution’s digital platform), e.g., on an online marketplace or a website, in the same format as the one submitted for deposit.


    Step 2: Specify that your document is intended for legal deposit

    This information must be written in the following manner: ‟Legal Deposit, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec”, followed by the publication year.

    For example: Legal Deposit, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, 2022.

    If the document is a book, this information must be digitally written on the page following the title page.


    Step 3: Register to the extranet

    BAnQ provides a management section dedicated to publishers. Register to the extranet (in French) by filling out this registration form (in French) to sign an authorization licence, proceed with the legal deposit of your digital publications and manage your deposits online.


    Step 4: Grant BAnQ an authorization licence

    You can grant an authorization licence to BAnQ allowing it to preserve your digital publications and make them available to the public with due regard to the the Copyright Act. This licence will apply to all the digital publications that you publish.

    You have two options:

    • The authorization licence for free digital publications that grants unrestricted access to publications hosted on BAnQ numérique.
    • The authorization licence for commercial digital publications that limits access to publications hosted on BAnQ numérique. They can only be viewed on secure computer stations in BAnQ’s facilities, with no printing or downloading possibility.

    On the extranet’s home page (in French), click on ‘’Licences d’autorisation accordées à BAnQ’’ (Authorization licences granted to BAnQ) and select the ‘’Accorder une nouvelle licence d’autorisation’’ (Grant a new authorization licence) option. You can then fill out the online form and choose the licence that suits your needs.

    If you are unable to use the extranet, you can fill out and sign one of the two PDF forms (in French):

     Then email the form to pubelectro@banq.qc.ca.

    You remain the sole copyright owner of your publications. If you have any questions regarding copyright, please go to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s page.

    Step 5: Deposit your digital publication

    On the extranet’s homepage, click on ‘’Déposer une publication numérique libre d’accès’’ (Deposit an open-access digital publication) or ‘’Déposer une publication numérique à accès restreint (commerciale)’’ (Deposit a restricted-access digital publication (commercial)), depending on the licence you’ve chosen. Fill out the form and attach your digital publication’s file.

    You can deposit a digital publication and report the legal deposit of its analogue version in the same form, except for sound recordings.

    Please make sure you are submitting the final version of your digital publication. Publications cannot be modified after the deposit.

    We can automatically receive digital publications that are kept in the digital storage Entrepôt du livre numérique ANEL – De Marque. You just need to sign an authorization licence and send us a request through this digital storage agency.

    The processing of deposited digital publications proceeds according to priorities set by the institution.

    What happens to your publication?

    Each digital publication is kept in digital storage to ensure its permanent preservation.

    Once processed, it is given a bibliographic record that makes it easy to find in BAnQ’s catalogue and in the Bibliographie du Québec (in French). As for the Québec government’s publications, they can be found in a monthly list (in French). The publication can then be accessed by the public in BAnQ numérique.

    BAnQ’s collection of digital publications comprises more than 200,000 items from several hundred publishers. You can access the digital materials that have been deposited with BAnQ.

    Contact us

    Phone: 514 873-1101 or 1 800 363-9028, ext. 6602
    Fax: 514 873-4310
    Email: pubelectro@banq.qc.ca

    For further information