Legal deposit Legal deposit

Section 12 of the Regulation of the Greenland Home Rule Government (Landstings-forordning) on the library system of 15 October 1979 states the following about legal deposits to Groenlandica:

"Publishers, other companies as well as private and public institutions publishing books, newspapers, periodicals, annual reports and other works are required to deliver three copies of all material to the National Library."

The notes to the Regulation state that the definition of "other works" is very broad.


Legal deposit of material is to be made to Groenlandica at the following address:

Manutooq 1
P.O. Box 1074
3900 Nuuk

The background of the regulation

The reason for legal deposit is that Greenland – like any other country – wishes to preserve a number of copies of all works published. Legal deposit from Greenland used to be made to the State and University Library in Aarhus, Denmark, but since the introduction of Home Rule in 1979, legal deposit has had to be made to Groenlandica. Regrettably, not everybody complies with the obligation to deposit copies of their publications, so on a regular basis, Groenlandica has to draw their attention to the regulations.

Ensuring our common cultural heritage

By depositing three copies of all publications to Groenlandica, the publishers assist in ensuring that an important part of Greenland's cultural heritage will survive for the use of future generations. Old publications can be deposited as well.

What must be deposited?

Everything published in Greenland is included in the obligation regarding legal deposit. Of course, legal deposit includes books (also new editions), periodicals, newspapers and local newspapers, but legal deposit also includes newsletters, reports, brochures, journals of societies, annual reports, leaflets, election materials, posters, pamphlets, tourist brochures, guides, textbooks, dissertations, cd's, tapes, video tapes, postcards with text and much more.

No exceptions

It is not required that the material deposited is on paper; also electronic material and audio-visual material fall under the provisions of the legal deposit regulation. There are no requirements as to the volume of the material, meaning that material of just one page has to be deposited as well. There are no requirements as to whether the material has been for sale; free materials – brochures etc. – must also be deposited.

Who is responsible?

The legal deposit obligation of three copies to Groenlandica lies with the person who produces finished copies for publication. If the producer cannot be unambiguously identified, or if production has taken place outside of Greenland, the publisher is subject to the legal deposit obligation – meaning the person(s) in charge of disseminating the material. Publishers connected to Greenland in some way, who publish works outside Greenland, are also subject to the legal deposit obligation to Groenlandica.


Expenses incurred during the production of legal deposit copies must be paid by the publisher. However, for example students may ask that expenses incurred by copying of projects, dissertations etc. be paid for them, or that Groenlandica borrows the materials with permission to make 3 copies. Groenlandica may, upon application by the publisher, reimburse the publisher for postage or freight charges incurred by the legal deposit.

Recording of materials

Legal deposit materials are recorded in the same way as foreign materials bought by Groenlandica. Legal deposit copies cannot be borrowed without permission by the publisher. The materials are recorded in the library database with information such as title, author, publisher, year and whether the materials can be borrowed or studied in the reading rooms.

Groenlandica - Ilimmarfik - Manutooq 1 Box 1074 - 3900 Nuuk - - © 2013-