Privacy and Cookies


What are cookies and what are they used for?

Cookies are small text files that are stored by your web browser. They are primarily used to remember if users have visited the website before, and to improve the way that sites work.

For example, cookies can be used to:

  • remember information such as passwords so that you don’t need to keep re-entering it
  • personalise content by recording search and display choices such as layouts
  • provide social network facilities
  • record usage information to help us understand users and ensure we are providing the right support.

There are different types of cookies, for example:

First party and third party cookies.

First party cookies are set by the website you’re visiting. They send data only to the servers for that domain, and the data cannot be altered or retrieved by any other website. If a user visits a website and a separate company sets a cookie through that website, this is a third party cookie. Examples of third party cookies are those set by social networks.

Session and persistent cookies

Cookies can expire at the end of a browser session or they can be stored for longer. Session cookies are not stored long-term; they are set when you visit a website, and expire as soon as the browser is closed.

Persistent cookies are stored on your device in between browser sessions and allow preferences to be remembered. Persistent cookies are used for a variety of reasons including recording your preferred search results display.

To find out more about cookies, visit or All About Cookies.

How we use cookies

We use the following cookies on our site (our blog only uses cookies for measuring usage, see below):

1) Cookies that are essential

We believe these cookies are essential in order to ensure that the service provides an effective search experience.

Name: resultSet
Expires: At end of session
Purpose: to store details of the generated resultSet, such as its
identifier and which slice was last viewed when results are paged. Enables provision of "Back to previous results" link from any page. Also enables search results to populate otherwise empty screen real-estate in the absence of the Table of Contents (ie lower-level entries within a collection).
Note: not linked to user data.

2) Cookies that are non-essential but benign

These cookies are used to improve your website experience. 

Name: hubsearchform
Expires: At end of session
Purpose: to store the state of the submitted search form, enabling the form to be recreated when returning to the search page (e.g. by link or back button) so that the previous query (which could be quite complex)
can be refined by the user. Without it the search form would be reset
with every visit to the search page.
Note: not linked to user data.

Name: <record-identifier>tocstate (name is specific to each EAD record/description)
Expires: at end of session
Purpose: to store the state of hierarchical navigation (which may be opened up to display descending levels of context) when navigating between pages of the same record/description. This prevents the user
from having to re-open the navigation to the same place. Without it, the Table of Contents would reset when moving between pages.
Note: not linked to user data.

Name: ie6warned
Expires: at end of session
Purpose: to prevent warning IE6 users that their browser is not supported coming up on every page that is loaded. Stores a string value 'yes'.
Note: not linked to user data.

Cookies for measuring website usage

We use Google Analytics to analyse how our visitors use this website, in order to improve your experience on the site.
Google Analytics uses only first-party cookies, which are available only to the Archives Hub and don’t reveal any personally identifiable information.

More information about Google Analytics cookies.

Managing and deleting cookies

We use cookies to improve the way our website works, and we don’t gather any personally identifiable information. Blocking or deleting the cookies will impact on the way that the site works and you could lose some functionality. However, you can control and manage cookies if you wish.  You can visit for more information about how to control cookies on the major web browsers.


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