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Information Charter

How we deal with information we may collect for business purposes.


In order to carry out its legitimate business and to deliver goods and services requested, the British Library needs to collect and process personal and non-personal information.

This charter sets out:

• how we look after that information
• how to access your personal data
• how to access information about the Library

Personal information

The Data Protection Act 1998 regulates the management of personal information relating to living individuals. It does not include information relating to dead people, groups or communities, organisations or businesses.

The British Library recognises the importance of protecting your right to privacy. When we ask you for information, we will keep to the law, including the Data Protection Act, and will handle the information provided in a manner which respects your rights and privacy.

The Library regularly reviews its systems and processes to ensure that when we ask you for personal information, we:

• make sure you know why we need it;
• ask for what we need and do not collect irrelevant information;
• protect it from loss, damage or unauthorised access;
• let you know if we share it with other organisations;
• make sure we don’t keep it longer than necessary; and
• will not use your personal information for marketing without your permission.

In return, we ask you to:

• give us accurate information; and
• tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes, such as a new address.

This helps us to keep your information reliable and up to date.

For more information about how we manage your personal information see the Library's Privacy Statement and Personal Information Policy on the website.

Access to personal data about you

Under the Data Protection Act individuals have a right of access to the information that is held about them by the Library (although this is subject to some exemptions). These requests are known as subject access requests. If you are seeking personal information about yourself you should make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998. 

If you want to make a subject access request please submit it in writing to:

The Data Protection Manager
Corporate Information management Unit
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB


Please note that if you request personal data under the Data Protection Act, the Library may charge a fee of up to £10 for providing this information. Your request will be dealt with within 40 days of the Library accepting the request.

To help us identify the information you would like to see, please include any details that will enable us to locate the data that you are seeking.

In order to be sure that your personal information is not disclosed to an imposter, we may require you to provide us with proof of identity before the information is released.

Information about the Library

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 give the public the right to request access to unpublished information from a public body, subject to certain conditions such as the need to protect individual privacy, to safeguard commercial and operationally sensitive information or other legal restrictions.
The Library is committed to fostering the fullest possible access to information and will routinely publish information unless restricted by legislation.

The British Library’s Freedom of Information Publication Scheme provides a gateway to information about the organisation, policies and standards. It is divided into seven classes:

1. Who we are and what we do
2. What we spend and how we spend it
3. What are our priorities and how are we doing
4. How we make decisions
5. Our policies and procedures
6. Lists and registers
7. The services we offer

More information about making a request, is available on the Freedom of Information pages of the British Library’s website.

Requests for information may be made in writing to:

The Corporate Information Management Unit
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB


Further information

Independent advice about data protection, privacy and access to information, is available from the Information Commissioner's office at:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545 745
Fax: 01625 524 510


PDF files

The links below are to Adobe PDF files. Accessibility solutions and free Reader software are available from Adobe.

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