The British Library collects the published output of Great Britain, and has over 150 million items in its Collections. Our Collections contain personal data in many forms; in newspapers, radio recordings, oral history interviews, modern literary archives, electoral rolls, and in our archival copy of the .uk web domain.
We collect, catalogue, and make available our Collections (and the personal data contained within them) as part of the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, e.g. as the national and legal deposit library of Great Britain. Further details about our public task can be found here.
Where Sensitive Personal Data is found in our Collections it is processed for the purpose of archiving in the public interest. Where such data would be likely to cause substantial distress or harm to the data subject if disclosed it will be withheld from public access, but will still be retained in our Collections.
Personal data contained in our Collections will be retained in perpetuity, so as to inform the research of future generations.
Please note: If you use the personal data present in our Collections as part of your research then you become a Data Controller in relation to that data, and are responsible for using that data fairly, ethically, and in compliance with the law. In particular, personal data which is used for research purposes may not be used in order to make decisions about or take actions in relation to the data subject in question, and may not be used in ways which would cause substantial damage or distress to them.