•  All literary works such as Books, Pamphlets, sheets of music, maps, charts,plans, tables and compilations.
  •  Dramatic works.
  •  Collective works such as Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Year books,Newspapers, Magazines and Periodicals.
  • All forms in which documentary or oral records are published". This means
  • legal deposit is also for non- book materials like home videos, films,cassettes etc. and even electronic publications,

The best copies of each publication should be deposited.


The number of copies of published materials to be deposited varies with the
categories of publishers.
Private publishers are to deposit three (3) copies each of their publications.
State government and its agencies are to deposit ten (10) copies each of their

  •  Preservation of the nation's intellectual output for future generation.
  •  Bibliographic control of the Nations publications.
  • The legal deposit materials collected are processed and listed in the
  • National Bibliography of Uganda which is circulated both locally and
  • internationally.
  • The AUTHOR's name will be entrenched in the annals of the Nation's
  • publication history.

There are two categories of publishers specified in the Act
Category 1:
Category 2:

  • Private Publishers
  •  Federal Government: Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies. State
  • Government: Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies.
What is an ISBN?

(International Standard Book Number)

  •  An ISBN is a 13 - digit number that identifies a book for purposes of commerce and supply.
  • The ISBN is a unique international identifier for monographic (book) publications. It is a 13 - digit number e.g. 978-0-306-40615-0.
What are the advantages of ISBN

Global ordering and distribution of books is mainly executed by ISBN
Compilation and updating of book
trade directories and bibliographic databases, such as cataloguing of books-
It is needed for the running of electronic point of sale systems in

Which Materials should have ISBN?

Monograph (books) E-publications

Where to put the ISBN?

The thirteen (13) digit ISBN number is divided into five parts separated clearly by
hyphens or spaces. e.g 978-9970-768-24-5. This number should be printed on

  • Verso title page of each publication Base of the title page
  • Base of the spine
  • The back of the cover in nine-point or larger
  • The back of the dust-jacket and on the back of any other protector
Do books need ISBN , if they are not going to be sold?

It is desirable that ALL books are identified by ISBNs.

Does a change of format require a new ISBN?

Yes, different formats need different ISBNs.

I am revising a book. Does it require a new ISBN?

without change of text or binding require a new ISBN?
No, not if there is no change of text, format , or building that would justify a new

How are ISBNs allocated to multi-format/multi-volume works?

An ISBN must be allocated to the whole set of volumes of a multi-volume work, as
well as individual volumes of the set.

Do I need a new ISBN when I am reprinting a book with a new title?

A significant change of text requires a new ISBN. If revisions have been made it
should state on the verso of the title page that the book is a revised edition and
the new ISBN should be printed there.
Yes, a new title requires a new ISBN.

I am publishing a book with another Publisher. Whose ISBN should appear on the book?

In the case of a joint publication, an ISBN is assigned by the publisher in charge of

I am not a Publisher - can I still obtain an ISBN?

Yes, a Publisher is a group, organization, company or individual who is responsible
for originating the product of a publication and also bears the cost/ financial risk.

What are Publishers' obligation?
  • Maintaining a register of ISBN that have been assigned to published and

forth coming books. This register should be kept in numerical sequence
showing ISBN, author, title, edition statements etc.

  • Forwarding a list of publications assignment of ISBN.
  • Delivering within one month of publication at his own expense to the National Library of Nigeria, three (3) copies of the book /with their used ISBN to the National Agency before asking for new
  • A formal application for assignment of an ISBN made on the letter headed

paper of the National Library of Uganda.

  • An indication whether the Author, Publisher or Institution is new in the

Publishing industry and their envisaged output in the next five years to
enable the agency determine the appropriate block of numbers to assign to

  • Visual proof of the existence of the publication i.e. The user requesting the

assignment must produce type-set copy of the manuscript or at least the
preliminary pages of the title to be published. This is mandatory for authors
and publishers.

  • An evidence to show full utilization of ISBN earlier assigned. That is, each

Publisher, Author or Institution should forward a list of their publications
with the used ISBN to The National Agency before requesting for the
assignment of new ISBN. In addition, evidence of having deposited three (3)
copies of each publication to the National Library as required by Law,
should be shown.



Administrative charges are made payable to National Library of Uganda by Cash,
Bank lodgment or Bank Draft at our Offices:

  • Single ISBN = Shs.30.000
  • 5 Block of ISBN’s= Shs. 100,000
  • 10 Block of ISBN’s= Shs.150,000
  • 100 Block of ISBN’s= Shs. 1,000,000

Restoration of Lost ISBN-Block of 5 Restoration-Block of 10Restoration of Lost
ISBN-Block of Hundred Restoration of Lost ISBN-Block of 100

Contact Information

The Principal Librarian
National Bibliographic Control Department National Library of Uganda
Plot 50, Buganda Road
P.O.Box 4262 Kampala
E-mail admin@nlu.go.ug