Information for international publishers

The KB’s e-Depot: a trustworthy steward for the digital scholarly record

Continuing research and development to secure permanent preservation of and access to electronic information requires substantial financial, technical and staffing commitments that exceed the possibilities of individual publishers. Therefore, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek/National Library of the Netherlands (KB) has undertaken the development of an international e-Depot service with a specifically long-term perspective.

Digital repository facilities

The KB’s e-Depot is aimed to ensure the research community perpetual access to the published records of the arts, humanities and social sciences, science, technology and medicine, and the digital cultural heritage. The KB ensures publishers, libraries and end users that the information stored in the repository will outlast the transience of digital information carriers, hardware and software.

Why the KB ?

As a national library in a smaller country with an international orientation, the KB is uniquely positioned to serve as a trustworthy steward for the scholarly record, building upon its tradition as a national deposit library, and expanding this mission into the emerging international world of information provision. The KB has recognised expertise in the area of digital preservation, and it pursues no commercial targets that may conflict with careful archiving. From the start, the Dutch Government has been supportive of this expansion of the KB’s public role by providing funding for the KB’s research and development activities.


In and of itself the KB’s e-Depot is neither a dark archive nor a light archive. The extent to which access is given to the information in the repository is determined by each individual archiving agreement. In these agreements, the KB aims to strike a balance between the justified commercial interests of publishers and its own intrinsic mission to serve its users. Generally, end-user access is restricted to on-site perusal for reasons of private research only; on-line access is denied. Full access is of course granted to publications by Open Access publishers such as Biomed Central.

Archiving partners

The KB’s International e-Depot does not accept single publications. Organisations wishing to make use of the services provided by the International e-Depot are required to conclude an archiving agreement with the KB and to deliver bulk content and specified metadata.

Business model

The International e-Depot is an intrinsic part of the Dutch National Library, and therefore the Dutch Government is the major sponsor of both the e-Depot and the R&D efforts involved. In the coming years the KB intends to develop a sustainable business model for the e-Depot which will reflect both public and private responsibility for our digital scholarly and cultural heritage.

Further information

For further details on archiving agreements, contact our Account Manager
Adriaan Lemmen phone +31 70 314 04 68.