Archives service privacy notice

Cambridgeshire Archives (CA) collects and uses information about the historic records we keep as well as records relating to providing services to our customers.

Everything we do with information about living people – such as how we collect it and who we share it with – has to comply with the Data Protection Act. A key part of this is being open about how we use information and what rights you have in respect of information we hold about you.

The information we hold and what we use it for

We provide services under the Local Government (Records) Act 1962, the Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967 and various other pieces of legislation. In order to provide these services we collect and use personal data of people that access our services.  For Data Protection purposes, we lawfully process (i.e. collect and use) this information as it falls under our ‘public task’.

Whenever we use information, we always limit this to only the details that are needed and we ensure that it is used safely and securely. We require anyone we share information with, or who uses it on our behalf, to do so too. All staff receive training on data protection and information security.

The main information we hold is as follows:

  • Basic contact details (name, address) of individuals or groups who have donated, deposited or loaned records to CA, so that we retain a record of how the records were acquired and from whom.
  • Names and contact details provided by customers when submitting general enquiries and placing orders (such as for copies of documents).
  • Names and contact details of customers who visit our searchrooms, so that we can ensure the safety of visitors in the event of an emergency, to contact them following their visit should the need arise, and also for service planning purposes (e.g. monitoring numbers of visitors etc).
  • Details of records that have been made available to customers so that we have an audit trail of this in the event of records being damaged, missing or lost.
  • Details of membership of the CARN (County Archive Research Network) Scheme.  This is run by the Archives and Records Association and is a nationally recognised system of reader's tickets for local authority record offices.  We can help you to register with the scheme and have access to membership details nationally.

Finally there is the data we hold within our collections. We only keep archives which we believe to be potentially useful for historical research and we can only keep what is offered to us. This means that we do not have records of every institution in the county, and nor do we have every record of those institutions for which we do hold archives. What we do have is kept securely as part of our archive collections. If you would like to more about what sorts of records we accept for our collections, please read our Collecting Policy, which is available online.

 Who we share information with and why

Information of CARN membership is shared as part of the terms of the CARN Scheme with the Archives and Records Association and other record offices that are part of the scheme.

Other personal data is only shared in a specific case where there is a statutory requirement to do, for example if required by law enforcement agencies, or if it something you have specifically asked us to share.

All information sharing is done with reference to the principles set out in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Information Sharing Framework.

How long we keep information

We only keep information for as long as it is needed. This will be based on either a legal requirement (where a law says we have to keep information for a specific period of time) or accepted business practice. This is set out in our retention schedule.

Personal data contained within the archive records within our collection will be retained permanently or for as long as the relevant records are in our care. Details relating to general enquiries and orders will be kept for four years.

What rights you have

You have various rights around the data we hold about you.

  • Right of access (to receive a copy of your personal data)
  • Right to rectification (to request inaccurate data is corrected)
  • Right to erasure (to request that data is deleted)
  • Right to restrict processing (to request we don’t use your data in a certain way)
  • Right to data portability (in some cases, you can ask to receive a copy of your data in a commonly-used electronic format so that it can be given to someone else)
  • Right to object (generally to make a complaint about any aspect of our use of your data)
  • Right to have explained if there will be any automated decision-making, including profiling, based on your data and for the logic behind this to be explained to you.

Any such request can be submitted to the Cambridgeshire County Council Data Protection Officer. Whether we can agree to your request will depend on the specific circumstances and if we cannot then we will explain the reasons why.

If we are processing your information based on you giving us consent to do so, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Doing so may mean we are unable to provide the service you are hoping to receive and the implications of you giving or withdrawing your consent will be explained at the time.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how your information has been collected and/or used, you can make a complaint to the Data Protection Officer.

You can also report your concerns to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Contact details

If anything in this notice is not clear, or if you have further queries, please get in contact with the Data Protection Officer.

Data Protection Officer, Cambridgeshire County Council, Shire Hall, OCT1224, Cambridge, CB3 0AP


Tel. 01223 699137

Privacy Statement