The Royal Library, or Kungliga Biblioteket (KB), is the national library of Sweden. As such it collects, describes, preserves and makes available all domestic printed materials in Swedish and other languages, as well as publications with Swedish association published abroad. This obligation was laid down in 1661 in an ordinance from the Swedish Privy Council Chancery. The ordinance (legal deposit) ordered all printers in the Realm of Sweden to send two copies of every publication printed to the Chancery before the material was distributed. One copy was to go to His Majesty's Archives (Riksarkivet), the other to the Royal Library. The motive for this provision stemmed not from a desire to preserve publications for posterity but from a desire to monitor their contents.
Since March 24, 1997, the Royal Library also archives the Swedish part of the World Wide Web as part of a project called kulturarw3 (a play on words; kulturarv is Swedish for cultural heritage). Initially, the contents was not available to the public due to issues of copyrights, but as of 2004 visitors to the library can access the archive from dedicated terminals.
The institution is also a Government agency charged with the responsibility of coordinating Sweden's research libraries and for the Library Information System, LIBRIS .