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e-Books: eLD - Electronic Legal Deposit

Printing from eLD books

Printing from eLD books is difficult, but not impossible. It is always suggested that you try and find a normal ebook or print to copy from instead. You can do this via SOLO.

If you need to print from an eLD book, the difficult part is working out which page numbers you need. The instructions vary depending on whether your eLD book is in the EPUB or PDF format. Open the eLD book to identify which you are dealing with.

If your ebook has a toolbar like this down the left hand side, it is an EPUB ebook:


EPUB ebooks do not include page numbers. In the top left of the screen are some numbers which are known as 'locations', but these are not what you need for printing. If you can find an online contents page from the print book (e.g. from Google Books, Amazon, or the publisher's webpage), you may be able to find the page numbers you want from there.

If you still don't know the pages you want to print, find the Print button (image of a printer), in the bottom-left corner of the screen and click the small downwards arrow next to it. This brings up the option to Print Preview.

You can then use the backwards and forwards arrows at the top to navigate page by page, or type in page numbers in the top to guess where your desired section is. It is easier if you are printing a whole chapter, because it can be hard to read the text in the print preview.

Once you have the page numbers, click the printer icon again and type that page range into the Pages box, and click Print. A popup will appear asking for your PCAS details. If you do not know how to use PCAS, see this guide. Once you have put in your username and password, you can collect your print job from any PCAS machine.


If your ebook has a toolbar like this across the top, it is a PDF ebook:                                   

PDF ebooks do include page numbers in the text, but these are not the ones you need to select for printing. Navigate to the page you want to start printing at, and look at the Page: section of the toolbar at the top. Find the number in brackets beside the page number from the text (e.g. 1 / 313) and note it down. Do the same with the end page of the section you want to print.

Click the printer icon and in the dialogue box, type the page range you have noted down. You may want to print the first page of your desired section on its own as a test.

For more information about this and Print & Deliver, our staff-mediated printing option, see this guide.

Finding out more, FAQs and Help

To find out more about eLD please see the Bodleian Libraries' web pages or British Library's Frequently Asked Questions.  Please note, that whilst the Bodleian Libraries use the term "electronic Legal Deposit", the British Library refers to this material as "Non-print legal deposit".

If you have a question about eLD in Oxford or are having difficulties accessing materials, please contact the SOLO Live Helpdesk which is on the SOLO homepage. If it is unstaffed please use the Ask an Oxford librarian service.

Electronic Legal Deposit Explained (video tutorial)

Some items on SOLO are subject to restrictions and display a notice stating that  "Online access is restricted: available via Bodleian Libraries reading room PCs only". These are items which the Bodleian Libraries receive under Electronic Legal Deposit.

This video tutorial, Electronic Legal Deposit Explained looks at what Electronic Legal Deposit is, what it covers and the restrictions imposed on Electronic Legal Deposit items.   Please note that the tutorial opens in a new window.  If you prefer to read about Electronic Legal Deposit rather than watching a video please skip to the text instructions.


Electronic Legal Deposit Explained (text)

For a comprehensive introduction to electronic Legal Deposit, see the eLD LibGuide.


Why are some items restricted on SOLO?

Some items on SOLO may only be accessed from Bodleian Libraries reading room PCs. These are items which the Bodleian Libraries receive via "electronic Legal Deposit" (eLD).

What is Electronic Legal Deposit?

The Bodleian Libraries are a legal deposit library.  This means that the Bodleian Libraries are entitled by law to receive a copy of every item published in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Other Legal Deposit Libraries in the UK including Cambridge University Library, Trinity College Dublin Library, the British Library and the national Libraries of Scotland and Wales also have these privileges.

Legal Deposit started in 1662 and has allowed the Bodleian Library to amass a vast collection of books, journals and other printed items which are of great value to researchers.  Of course the Bodleian Libraries also purchase many items including research materials from overseas and extra copies of key works published in the UK.   However, legal deposit legislation has allowed the Bodleian Libraries to receive many items which would not otherwise be available in Oxford.

Legal Deposit has historically only covered printed items. However, in 2003 new legislation was passed which extended legal deposit to electronic publications and it came into force in April 2013.     Therefore the Bodleian Libraries only started to receive electronic material via legal deposit in 2013.   Of course, the Bodleian Libraries also has many subscriptions to eJournals and ebooks and so you will find many electronic items in our collections besides those that we receive under Electronic Legal Deposit.

What is covered by Electronic Legal Deposit?

Electronic Legal Deposit covers

  • Ejournals, ebooks  and other e-versions of traditional printed materials.
  • Web sites published in the UK. This not only includes web sites with a .uk, .Scotland, .Wales or .England web address but also other web site which are substantially published in the UK.  However, it does NOT Include web sites such as YouTube which consist solely of audio visual content.
  • Standalone or "off line" electronic items such as CD ROMs

Although the new legislation came into force in April 2013, this does not mean that the Bodleian Libraries have every ebook and every ejournal published since that date. In fact the Legal Deposit Act 2003 entitles the Bodleian Libraries and the other Legal Deposit Libraries to either a print OR an electronic copy of every item published in the UK but not to both.  In practice this means that we will continue to receive printed items from many publishers for some years to come.   Meanwhile other publishers have already started to deposit material with us electronically and we no longer receive their output in print.   

Electronic Legal Deposit Restrictions

The Legal Deposit Act 2003 imposes a number of restrictions on the use of materials received through electronic legal deposit.

In particular

  1. Items received via electronic Legal Deposit may only be read on computers owned by the Bodleian Libraries and located on Library premises. This means that  to use an electronic legal deposit item you will need to use a public computer in one of the Bodleian Libraries.  Please note that this includes all thirty of the Bodleian Libraries not just the Old Bodleian
  2. You may NOT save or make digital copies of items received under electronic Legal Deposit.    This includes copying and pasting as well as saving and you will find that the copy and paste functions are disabled when reading electronic Legal Deposit items
  3. Each electronic Legal Deposit item may only be read by one person in Oxford at a time.    Therefore if another reader is using the article or book chapter that you wish to use, you will not be able to access it until they have finished.

These restrictions are a legal requirement under the Legal Deposit Act 2003.

However, it is worth noting that the Bodleian Libraries subscribe to over 50,000 ejournals and over 540,000 e-books. These are subject to far fewer restrictions. For example, in most cases members of Oxford University will be able to use these journals and books both on and off campus and will be able to copy and paste from them within the limits imposed by normal copyright law.  It is therefore likely that in many cases you will be able to use a subscription resource rather than the more restricted electronic Legal Deposit item.

Avoiding electronic Legal Deposit Restrictions

In many cases you will be able to avoid electronic Legal Deposit restrictions by choosing a subscription (or open access) e-book or e-journal rather than the electronic legal deposit version from SOLO.  

For example, in the screen shot below, you will see three "versions" of the Journal of Contemporary History.

  1. The first version is a printed copy, you can tell this because it has a Find and Request option.
  2. The second is an electronic subscription or open access journal, you can tell this because it has a View online option but not a restrictions notice. 
  3. The third is the electronic Legal Deposit version, you can tell this because it has restrictions notice.   

To avoid restrictions you would simply choose the second version.  You will be able to save and copy and paste from this version within normal copyright law.  In addition, in most cases, members of Oxford University will be able to use this version both on and off campus

Occasionally you may find an electronic Legal Deposit item that does not appear to have alternative versions. If so you can check for alternative versions by clicking  How else can I get this?

For more guidance on searching and accessing journals in print, electronically and via electronic legal deposit please see the tutorial Finding and using journal articles,