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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 06:34 GMT
Library issues online archive warning
National Library Scotland
The National Library collects all printed publications
The National Library of Scotland is warning that a whole chapter in the country's history will be lost unless a 92-year-old law is changed.

The library in Edinburgh is one of six institutions in the UK which are legally required to collect all printed publications for future generations.

But the law does not cover material published on the internet, CD-Rom and DVD.

Librarians and critics have claimed this could create an information "dark age" where significant records are missing because certain formats are not saved for posterity.

Published electronically

Since 1911, the National Library of Scotland has been required by law to collect copies of all printed publications.

This includes books as well as newspapers, academic papers and any publication which gives some insight into Scotland as a country.

However, more people are now publishing their information electronically.

Although they can volunteer a copy to the national archives, there is no requirement by law.

The National Library of Scotland and the other five legal deposit institutions are now calling for the law to be changed, in line with other European countries like France, Germany, Norway and Denmark.

The Labour MP for Ipswich, Chris Mole, has taken up their case with a private members bill to change the 1911 Copyright Act, which governs the legal deposit system.

He hopes to introduce the bill in March.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Pauline Maclean reports
"The worry is future historians could find a huge gap."
See also:

18 Mar 02 | Scotland
22 May 00 | Scotland
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