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Since 1916, the National Library of China has formally been a publication legal deposit library, and the publication legal deposit system in the true sense appeared in China. As one of China's specified public collection institutions, the collections of the National Library of China include formally published books, newspapers, periodicals, audio-visual products, electronic publications and publications of other carrier formats. Since the establishment, because of our rich collection resources, the library has been a significant window of opening up to the outside world and cultural exchanges of China. Meanwhile, because of the National Library of China's professional collection quality, a mass of precious publications with literary values can be effectively conserved and become China's valuable wealth.

Legal deposit of Chinese books: The prescription of accepting publications by the National Library of China came in effect in 1916. In March 6, 1916, the Ministry of Education ordered that "one copy of the books published in the country which had been recorded by the governmental agency in accordance with the publication law should be presented to the Capital Library for collection, so as to bright the civil administration through paying a high attention to books." Since 1916, the National Library of China has been an acceptance institute of the legal deposit publications all the time. Particularly, after the founding of the People's Republic of China, in different periods, the National Library of China has been a specified acceptance institute of a series of regulations and documents formulated and promulgated by the state and governmental agencies.

Recently, the regulation on legal deposit of Chinese books is (91) xinchutuzi No. 990 On the Methods of Depositing the Copies of Books, Periodicals and Newspapers issued by the Administration of Press and Publication in 1991. This circular prescribed that for first edition books, three copies should be submitted; for reprinted books, one copy should be submitted. And this circular has also prescribed the deadline of legal deposit and penalty provisions.

Recently, there are over 100,000 titles of Chinese books published in China annually. The Chinese book acquisitions section of the National Library of China being responsible for accepting submitted books keeps close relationships with publishing houses across the country and timely urges them to intensify the book submitting.

Legal deposit of Chinese publications: The National Library of China performs the function as a repository of the nation's publications and preserves a great number of extremely precious documents hitherto. Only take periodicals before liberation as an example, there are already 80,000 bound volumes (15,000 titles) collected.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, our government paid a very high attention to the legal deposit of publications to the National Library of China. In 1955, the Ministry of Culture promulgated The Methods of Depositing the Copies of Books and Periodicals which definitely prescribed: "for any books and periodicals, starting from the first editions, each edition should be deposited to … National Library.of Peking". In 1991, the Administration of Press and Publication also issued two files, (91) xinchutuzi No. 990 and (91) xintongqizi No.1316, and they definitely defined the legal deposit way, category, and quantity. Hence, our library's Chinese collections have an efficient guarantee. Presently, our library has nearly 400,000 bound volumes of books and periodicals in stack and permanent preservation collections, and 30,000 bound volumes (11,000 titles) of them increase every year. These achievements have close relations with the strong sense of cultural historical mission from periodical publishers.

As a part of China's precious cultural heritage, these periodicals, conserved in the National Library of China which has a history of nearly one hundred, have been incorporated into the long history of Chinese culture. Their contribution is a piece of work in the contemporary generation, and it will benefit the later generation. For various reasons, nearly 15% of publishing houses have not performed the submitting obligation till now. Therefore, the National Library of China earnestly hope the publishers will submit substantial publications to us, and collaboratively shoulder the historical responsibility of inheriting Chinese civilization.

Legal deposit of electronic publications: In 1987, the National Library of China formally began to accept the submitted e-pulications. Up to the beginning of 2006, there were 30,000 pieces of collections, and thousands of new titles increase annually. All of them are offered to the readers in Information Commons for free reading.

Recently, the legal deposit of electronic publications bases on the No. 11 order Regulation on the Management of Electronic Publications issued by the Administration of Press and Publication in 1997. The 35th article of this regulation definitely points out: "Before the publishing of an e-publication, an e-publisher should submit its sample to Beijing Library and Archives Library of Chinese Publications. The same year, a special circular (1996) in No. 697 file of the Administration of Press and Publication referred to the legal deposit of samples of AV and electronic publications. This circular addressed: "the submitting of samples of publishers will be considered as an important part of the performance and annual inspection of the AV and electronic publishers. For those who don't duly submit or don't submit samples, depending on the seriousness of the case, the punishments shall be public criticism, the reduction of Chinese standard AV product codes and standard book numbers and the postponing or the rejection of registration at the time of the annual inspection."

As the digital level heightens, the electronic publications in China increase dramatically. The Electronic Information Services Section of the National Library of China that is responsible for accepting the submitted electronic publications keeps close relationships with the Administration of Press and Publication and publishers across China, timely pays close attention to the publisher information of the industry and urges the publishing houses to intensify the submitting. Our acceptance scope includes standalone and online published e-publications, and e-products of other formats that submitted voluntarily. We also encourage individuals to submit electronic resource which has a collection value.

Legal deposit of AV publications: In 2001, the National Library of China began to accept the submitted AV products, whose formats refer to CD, VCD, DVD, audio and video tapes, etc.

Recently, there are annually thousands titles of domestic AV products collected by the National Library of China. The AV Material Service Section of the National Library of China that is responsible for accepting the submitted AV products keeps close relationships with AV product publishers across the country and timely masters the latest publisher news to richen the collection resources.

Legal deposit of newspapers: The National Library of China has collected nearly 8,000 Chinese hard copy newspapers from the 19th century to now. These documentary resources have been the permanent collections of the National Library of China.

At present, the regulation on newspaper deposit is (91) xinchutuzi No. 990 The Methods of Depositing the Copies of Books, Periodicals and Newspapers. This circular prescribed: "a newspaper should be sent within a week after the publication, and a bound edition (including compact edition, catalog and index) should be sent within a month after the publication." However, actually, many publishing houses don't actively perform this legal obligation. Up to the end of 2005, among the 956 titles of newspapers being published in China Mainland, only 484 titles of newspapers had submitted their legal deposit copies to our library. The Chinese Book Acquisitions Section of the National Library of China being responsible for accepting submitted books keeps close relationships with publishing houses across the country and timely urges them to intensify the legal deposit of books.

Legal deposit of dissertations: Temporary Measures for the Implementation of Dissertation Regulation of the People's Republic of China implemented in 1981 definitely specified the National Library of China (former Beijing Library) as China's only legal institution that is responsible for the complete collection and organization of China's dissertations in the fields of social, cultural and natural sciences and a special institution defined by the Expert Departmentof the Ministry of Personnel that is responsible for the complete collection of post-doctoral research reports.

Since the over two decades, the Doctoral Dissertation Section of the National Library of China (the Dissertation Collection Center of the National Library of China) has collected over 150,000 titles of doctoral dissertations from over 1,000 degree-conferring institutions across the country; over 100,000 titles of master dissertations of parts of the key universities; nearly 10,000 titles of post-doctoral research reports of over 3,000 post-doctoral stations. And the collection scope refers to specialties, such as philosophy, economics, law, education, literature, history, natural science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, military science and management science.

Besides, our Doctoral Dissertation Section has collected dissertations from Taiwan and overseas Chinese.



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