The National Library houses one of the richest and most comprehensive collection of Mauritiana materials. The Mauritiana Collection refers to library materials such as written or graphic records including manuscripts, type-scripts, books, newspapers, periodicals, music scores, photographs, maps, drawings and other graphic art forms and non-print materials such as films, filmstrips, audiovisual materials including tapes or discs and reproductions relating to any subject and produced/printed/published in Mauritius or relating to Mauritius and produced/published overseas.
The core of the Mauritiana Collection at the National Library consists of the Mauritiana Section of the Mauritius Institute Public Library and the Mauritiana Section of the Archives Department as per provision made under Paragraph 3 (Section 2) of the National Library Act 1996.
The National Library’s primary mechanism for acquiring Mauritiana materials is through the legal deposit system. According to the National Library Act 1996, every printer is required to deposit free of charge with the Director of the National Library six copies of the whole of any book printed by him in Mauritius within thirty days from the day on which a book first issues come from the press. The same rule applies to all the producers in Mauritius who have to deposit six copies of any non-print materials produced. As regards to newspapers, periodicals and serials publications, a printer is bound to deposit, free of charge, six copies of every issue within twenty four hours after its publication.
The Mauritiana Collection also comprises rare documents namely, bluebooks, almanacs, administrative reports, National Assembly debates, government gazettes and newspapers and books dating back from 1777.