What is National edeposit (NED)?

Digital Preservation Awards 2020 finalist ribbonNational edeposit (NED) is an exciting collaboration between Australia’s nine national, state and territory libraries, responding to the major challenge of capturing and preserving the digital documentary history of Australia for the future. The NED service provides for the deposit, management, storage, preservation, discovery and delivery of published electronic material across Australia.

The NED members are the National Library of Australia, Libraries ACT, Libraries Tasmania, Northern Territory Library, State Library of New South Wales, State Library of Queensland, State Library of South Australia, State Library Victoria and the State Library of Western Australia.

Legal deposit legislation mandates NED member libraries to collect the entire publications of individual jurisdictions. For many years these libraries have built collections of print publications that provide the documentary history of 19th and 20th century Australia, but the arrival of digital media and the internet late last century has been and remains the great disrupter.

For libraries, it means that publications are no longer just print; print formats – books, journals, newspapers, magazines, maps, sheet music – are now available in electronic, and new electronic-only formats proliferate, including websites, social media, and blogs.

Digital technologies provide opportunities to facilitate legal deposit by improving deposit processes, and streamlining the complex tasks of cataloguing, indexing and recording, managing and providing access to deposited publications.

NED member libraries have seen an opportunity to develop an innovative service that provides benefits to publishers, libraries and users.

Benefits and efficiencies for publishers include:

  • a single service – publishers can generally deposit once and fulfil their state/territory library and National Library electronic legal deposit responsibilities
  • digital preservation and long‐term access to publications collected by all member libraries
  • better and faster access to legal deposit publications
  • more publications openly available

In 2023 NED is evolving, as member libraries invest in the ongoing enhancement of the service, signing a Deed of Agreement through to 2027. The Deed marks a transition from the ‘build’ and ‘enhancement’ phases of NED to a mature service phase, supported by a strategic plan and a strong governance model.

The NED Strategic Plan 2023-2026 has been developed with an ambitious program of strategic priorities and technical enhancements to be delivered. These include increasing the diversity of publications in the collection, responding to changing technology and working more closely with a vibrant Australian publishing industry.