Click here to skip to content

Privacy Policy - Our Services

Our Services include our:

  • Reading Rooms and remote Collection services (including our online document supply service, our online theses database and our digital library and web archives)
  • information resources (including our websites, applications and newsletters)
  • online and physical shops
  • Business and IP centre consultancy services
  • online image facilities
  • exhibitions, events and tours
  • WiFi service
  • learning programmes
  • donation facilities
  • membership schemes and registered accounts
  • PLR author administration services


Service Specific Privacy Notices

If we issue a Service Specific Privacy Notice it will be found here.

  • Fundraising

The British Library is a charity, and we actively raise money towards a broad range of projects and ongoing work. We keep a record on our database of your donations to the Library, including memberships, so that we can contact you and ask you to donate on another occasion.

If you have opted in to receive marketing communications by email, you may also receive fundraising messages from us. We try to make these as relevant to you as we can. You can opt out of fundraising communications at any time by replying to any message you receive from us.

Keeping data up to date

We will retain your information for as long as you have an active relationship with the British Library and to fulfil our legal obligations such as financial accounting. If you cease to have an active relationship with us or request to receive no further contact, we will retain some basic information in order to avoid sending you unwanted materials in the future, and to ensure that we don’t accidentally duplicate information.

From time to time we may analyse our database to find people who we think might be able to support us based on factors such as previous contributions, transaction history and demographics. We may note other relevant information about you in our database. This could be information that you have given us yourself, information from publicly available sources, or information shared by other organisations with your consent.

To make sure that you only receive fundraising communications or invitations to support us which are relevant, we may use third parties who collate available information about you, and who undertake research to assess ability or likely interest in supporting our work.

We will not share or sell your personal information to third parties for the purpose of fundraising or marketing.

Legal Requirements

We keep your personal information only for as long as required to operate the service in accordance with legal requirements and tax, such as Gift Aid processing and accounting rules. Where your information is no longer required, we will ensure it is disposed of in a secure manner. 

We chose to register with the Fundraising Regulator and adhere to their Code of Fundraising Practice. We ensure that all our fundraisers and third parties do so. Your information may be used to ensure that the British Library complies with the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice, which stipulates that we must take steps to assess and manage risks to our work and reputation with regard to certain levels of donation. More details can be found at


When people apply to work at the British Library, we will only use the information they supply to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party, for example, to take up a reference or to carry out a background check for the purpose of pre-employment security vetting, we will not do so without informing them beforehand, unless the disclosure is required by law.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 24 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed. It will then be destroyed as confidential waste or deleted. We retain statistical information to help to inform and improve our recruitment activities; for the purpose of ethnic monitoring and to obtain workplace statistics on, for example, gender, race, disability and age. The information retained is anonymised so that no individuals may be identified from that data.

Once a person has taken up employment with the Library, we will compile a file relating to their employment. The information contained in this will be kept securely and will only be used for purposes directly relevant to that person’s employment. Once their employment with Library has ended, we will retain the file in accordance with our retention schedule and then delete or destroyed as confidential waste.

Back to top Back to top

By using this site, you agree we can set and use cookies. For more details of these cookies and how to disable them, see our cookie policy.