This privacy policy applies to The National Archives' website and all of the services that it offers. It does not cover external websites which are linked to from this website.

The Data Protection Act 1998 protects the rights of individuals by making sure that any organisation that collects or holds information about living people does so in a way that is fair to those people.

The National Archives takes your privacy seriously and is committed to responsible handling of personal information in accordance with our Information Charter below.

Information Charter

We need to handle personal information about you so that we can provide services for you.

How we look after your information

When we ask for personal information we promise:

  • to make sure you know why we need it
  • to ask only for what we need, and not to collect too much or irrelevant information
  • to protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn't
  • to let you know if we share it with other organisations to give you better public services - and if you can say no
  • to make sure we don't keep it longer than necessary; and
  • not to make your personal information available for commercial use 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 keep your information reliable and up to date.

Where to find out more

You can get more details on:
  • how to find out what information we hold about you - see our data protection leaflet below
  • how to ask us to correct any mistakes
  • agreements we have with other organisations for sharing information
  • circumstances where we can pass on your personal information without telling you, for example to prevent and detect crime or produce anonymised statistics
  • our instructions to staff on how to collect, use and delete your personal information - see our Data Protection Policy below and Data Protection Procedures below
  • how we check the information we hold is accurate and up-to-date
  • how to make a complaint - see our complaints procedure

For more information please contact our Data Protection Officer, Linda Stewart, at The National Archives, Kew, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Email addresses follow the format

When we ask you for information we will keep to the law, including the Data Protection Act 1998.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues you can contact the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, phone the helpline on 0303 123 1113 or send a fax to 01625 524510. See also the contact page on the ICO website.

Some of the archives we hold contain information about living people. We apply the same standards to handling this information, except that we do not change historical records by making corrections to them. See section 4 of our Data Protection Policy and section 12 of our Data Protection Procedures below for more details about personal information in the archives.

Data protection leaflet (PDF, 0.05Mb)

Data protection policy (PDF, 0.5Mb)

Data protection procedures (PDF, 0.6Mb)

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