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Acquisition and Collection Development

Policy for Acquisition of Materials

A collection of materials forms the basis of all library services. The Library's collection policy which indicates how to develop those materials, closely relates to the library's mission and role.

The National Diet Library (NDL) has developed the Guideline for Acquisition of Materials and the Policy for Acquisition of Materials, and collects materials based on them.

The Guideline for Acquisition of Materials indicates the purpose and basic orientation of the NDL's collection.
The Policy for Acquisition of Materials describes requirements for acquiring materials specifically including the scope and priority of NDL's collection based on the Guideline for Acquisition of Materials.

How materials are acquired

The NDL acquires publications issued in Japan in accordance with the legal deposit system. Approximately 60 percent of books, magazines and newspapers the NDL accepts annually are based on this system.

In addition to the legal deposit system, the NDL collects materials by purchase, international exchange and donation. Open-shelf materials in each special materials room and foreign publications are acquired mainly through purchase. Foreign official publications are collected mainly through international exchange The NDL is designated as a deposit library by the United Nations and its specialized agencies, the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and accepts publications issued by each agency as deposited materials.

Separate Holdings of Materials

The acquired materials are held in three separate libraries, which are the Tokyo Main Library, the Kansai-kan and the International Library of Children's Literature (ILCL). The main holdings of each library are the following:

Tokyo Main Library

  • Deposited Japanese books, magazines, newspapers and electronic publications, etc.
  • Foreign books and newspapers
  • Some foreign magazines
    * Annual periodicals, some monograph series
  • Special collections

Kansai-kan of the NDL

  • Japanese books and some magazines
    * includes a second copy when more than one copy are deposited. The magazine collection mainly consists of indexed periodicals in the Japanese Periodicals Index.
  • Foreign magazines
  • Books, magazines and newspapers in Asian languages
  • Materials on science and technology
  • Scientific research reports under grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
  • Japanese doctoral dissertations

International Library of Children's Literature

  • Children's books and magazines
  • Textbooks and study guides
  • Children's books-related materials

Donation of Materials

The following guidance applies to donations from donors who are not publishers. For deposit of Domestic publications from publishers, please refer to "Request for Deposits" (in Japanese).

Acceptable Materials for donation

The NDL accepts materials which meet the following conditions as donations.

  1. Donated materials must meet the requirements of the NDL's Guideline for Acquisition of Materials and the Policy for Acquisition of Materials.
  2. In principle, donated materials must be materials that are not included in the NDL's collection. Since the NDL needs to develop an unbroken collection of each periodical title, it accepts donations of magazines and newspapers only to supply the NDL's missing issues except in the case of donations from publishers who come under the legal deposit system.
  3. Materials to be donated must be free of stains, tears, mold, and scrawls, and be in good condition to be used and preserved in the NDL.
  4. Japanese publications to be donated must be materials that are not expected to be deposited by a publisher due to the termination of its business.
  5. Packaged digital publications such as CDs and DVDs must be unopened and free of computer virus.

The NDL may decide not to include donated materials into its holdings depending on their condition, etc. Please understand that in advance.

Instructions for donating materials

The NDL asks all donors to meet the following.

  1. The handling of the donated materials shall be left to the discretion of the NDL.
    In principle, the NDL disposes of materials which are not included in the NDL’s holdings, and does not return them to the donors. If you want the NDL to return those materials, please consult with the library staff when you make an offer of donation. Return shipping expenses shall be borne by the donator. The NDL returns such materials to a Japanese address only. Return shipping to an overseas address is not acceptable.
  2. Refer to holdings using NDL Search to check whether the material is held in the NDL.
  3. Prior to sending the donations, make a list of them and send it to the NDL. Please make sure to write the title(s), the author(s)'s name(s), the publisher(s)’s name(s), the publication year(s) and the volume and issue number of serials in the list.
    Materials sent without a list may be judged not to be added to the NDL holdings.
  4. Send the materials after you receive the notification from the NDL of its decision on the list of donations. Please understand that it will take a certain time to confirm the list.
  5. Please send a list of the materials together with your name, address, and email address. Materials sent anonymously are unlikely to be considered for addition to the NDL’s holdings.
    Any personal information acquired by the NDL as part of this process will only be used to inquire about the donated materials and to send a letter acknowledging their receipt. For more information, please refer to "Protection of Personal Information".
  6. Ownership stamps, barcodes, labels, etc. on the donated materials must be cancelled or erased as much as possible. Donations from other libraries must show their ownership has been removed as much as possible with appropriate stamps (marks) or strike-through on barcodes, etc.
  7. Shipping expenses shall be borne by the donor. Please understand that the NDL does not accept materials sent cash on delivery.

How to donate materials

When donating materials, please understand the above and send a list of donations first to the following address.

Shipping address and Contact Information

Domestic publications only (less than 100 items)

Second Collection Section, Domestic Materials Division, Acquisitions and Bibliography Department, National Diet Library

1-10-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8924 Japan
E-mail:kizoat n d l dot g o dot j p

Foreign publications only (less than 50 items)

International Exchange Section, Foreign Materials Division, Acquisitions and Bibliography Department, National Diet Library

1-10-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8924 Japan
E-mail:kokanat n d l dot g o dot j p


Collection Planning Section, Acquisitions Administration and Bibliographic Control Division, Acquisitions and Bibliography Department, National Diet Library

1-10-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8924 Japan
E-mail:shukikakuat n d l dot g o dot j p

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