Creators and publishers in the UK can now use the Comichaus database site to not only submit their digital comics to their app – but with one click they can also send a copy to The British Library for preservation!
Comichaus has been working with The British Library to support Legal Deposit of UK independent digital comics. Legal Deposit requires publishers to provide a copy of every work that they publish in the UK to The British Library. It has existed in English law since 1662, and, since 2013, has also applied to digital publications.
It’s incredibly important as it means that The British Library’s collections reflect the diversity of experience and expression across the whole of the UK. That means comics, including independently published comics, are just as important and valued as other publications. The UK comic scene is diverse, energetic and influences other forms of writing and expression. UK comics should be preserved as part of the national collection, and available for readers and researchers now and in the future.
But, collecting independently published comics is a challenge. While the Library does receive comics from many independent creators, not all people who make and distribute their comics think of themselves as publishers, or that they should be submitting their work to The British Library, or know how to do this. Information about independently published comics is generally not available in the same way as for books with ISBNs, so it’s hard to know what is available to collect.
Over the past year, Comichaus has been working with The British Library to ensure that digital comics submitted to the Comichaus app can also be sent to The British Library (with the publisher’s consent) in fulfilment of Legal Deposit obligations. This helps the Library ensure that its collections reflect the diversity of UK independent comics, ensures that the comics will be preserved long-term, and means that they are available and discoverable in the Reading Rooms of the British Library and the five other UK Legal Deposit Libraries (the National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, Bodleian Library atOxford University, Cambridge University Library and the Library of Trinity College Dublin).
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