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.
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.
- Essential (also known as ‘strictly necessary’) cookies
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.
We also use Google Analytics for this purpose. Google Analytics is Google’s tool that helps website and app owners to understand how their visitors engage with their properties. It uses a set of cookies to collect information and report website usage statistics without personally identifying individual visitors to the British Library. This information is retained by the Library for a maximum of 50 months. The main cookie used by Google Analytics is the ‘__ga’ cookie. Google provide further information about their cookies and a method of opting out of receiving them here.
- Functionality cookies
Here is a list of Functionality Cookies used on our websites.
Where can I find out more about cookies and how to turn off or delete them?
Find out more about cookies at knowcookies.com 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
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