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Special Collections policies


As an Accredited Archive, Special Collections follows UK law, best professional practice and relevant standards in all our activities. This page brings together our formal policies on access to collections and on collections management. We also included information about data protection and our work with volunteers. Please contact Special Collections if you have any further questions.


Special Collections are open to, and intended for, anyone who might benefit from using them. However, space and staffing constraints mean that appointments are required. Access is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Collections care

Keeping collections safe for users now and in future is at the heart of our work.

Collection development

Our collection development policy outlines how we intend to collect new archives and books in support of our mission.  The "Guide to donating" is a summary of the full policy, written to help potential donors of collections.

Guide to Donation of Archives -Special Collections

Collections information

Our users need catalogues and other information in order to discover and use the collections. Here are our policies on what is catalogued, how we catalogue it, and which of our hidden collections we will be cataloguing next.

Data protection

The Data Protection Act of 2018 is now in force, enshrining the European GDPR in UK legislation.  This blog post, Special Collections, data protection, and you, outlines the impact of the new legislation on our users and other contacts.  We are working on a new privacy notice and other information which will be shared online when available.

As with previous legislation, access to archive material containing personal data is restricted under the new Act. Such records are closed assuming a lifespan of 100 years for the individuals whose personal data we hold, following accepted archival practice. However researchers wishing to access this material may be able to do so under appropriate exemptions. To apply for such access, please send completed version of the form below to Special Collections.

Access Form for Restricted Special Collections


As our spaces and staff capacity for managing volunteers are very limited, at present we are unable to accept external volunteers. We are concentrating on providing opportunities for University of Bradford students to develop skills within externally funded projects. Our general policies on the use of volunteers can be found in the Access Policy, above.