What are cookies?
Cookies are small text files that websites save to your computer. They often include a randomly generated number which is stored on your device. Many cookies are automatically deleted after you finish using the website. Others remain on your computer to provide a seamless user experience – for example, by remembering which goods are in your online shopping basket.
Cookies are commonly used to improve browsing experience; measure website performance; support the delivery of services; and support sharing information through social media, such as Twitter or Facebook.
What cookies are used by British Library websites and Services?
We have audited our cookies and produced a list of the cookies that we use which describes their purpose and explains where we use them:
There are two types of cookies: ‘session cookies’ and ‘persistent cookies’
- Session cookies last only for the duration of a website visit. Your web browser will normally delete session cookies as it is closed down.
- Persistent cookies outlast a session and will remain on your computer, although they will normally have an expiry date.
Cookies are used for three major functions:
- Essential (also known as ‘strictly necessary’) cookies
These cookies are essential for you to be able to move around some of our websites and to use their features; for example, essential cookies are necessary to allow you access to secure Services such as your Document Supply account. Without these cookies, Services that you have asked for, such as shopping baskets or search results cannot be provided.
Here is a list of Essential Cookies used on our websites.
- Performance cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use our websites, such as which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies do not collect personal information; all information collected by these cookies is aggregated and therefore anonymous.
Here is a list of Performance Cookies used on our websites.
Our main tool for collecting performance information is comScore Digital Analytix. comScore provide further information about their cookies and a method of opting out of receiving them here.
- Functionality cookies
These cookies allow our websites to remember choices you make (such as your user name), and provide enhanced customisation features in certain Services. These cookies can be used to remember changes you make to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise, or to provide Services you have asked for, such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. In our Online Shop these cookies help us to provide customer service, including contacting customers who have not checked out to follow up on abandoned shopping carts or to see if there was a problem with their use of the site. Information stored by functionality cookies is anonymised and cannot be used to track your browsing activity on other websites.
Here is a list of Functionality Cookies used on our websites.
Where can I find more about cookies and how to turn-off or delete them?
Find out more about cookies at www.aboutcookies.org including information on how to control and delete them in all major web browsers.
For information about deleting cookies from the browser on your mobile phone, refer to your handset manual.
Corporate Information Management Unit
The British Library
96 Euston Road