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Restricted Access and Closed Material

Find out more about material which is open with data protection issues and closed material within our collections.

Some more recent material in our collections may be contain sensitive material or personal data. Such material is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. Exemptions within the Freedom of Information Act 2000 may exempt some information from being publicly accessible where the information was provided to a public authority in confidence. When collections are on loan to Special Collections, the depositor may have imposed additional access and copyright protections.
Wherever access restrictions or closure periods are in place, the material will be marked as such in the catalogue record.

Material which is open with data protection restrictions

Other material will be available with some data protection restrictions. In the catalogue, it will be described as ‘open with some data protection restrictions’. In these cases, we can give access to the material, but the researcher will first be asked to have a short meeting with an archivist in which the researcher’s legal responsibilities regarding the data they gather during their research will be explained, and the researcher will be asked to sign a form to show that they have understood those responsibilities. In the catalogue, this will be indicated by the words ‘researcher interview required’. When you request material with data protection restrictions, you will receive a reply confirming your visit and asking you to have a meeting with an archivist upon arrival at Special Collections and before you begin looking at the material. The archivist will guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have on the day.

Closed material

Some material will not be available at all. In such cases, the material will be described in the catalogue as being closed. When material is closed, a date for review is agreed and published in the catalogue.

Fragile or damaged items
Occasionally, material may be unavailable to view because it is too fragile to handle and has been withdrawn from use until repairs can be carried out. It may be possible to digitise fragile or damaged material to provide alternative access, but this will depend upon whether the digitisation process might cause further harm to the material without some conservation intervention.