Southampton City Council Cultural Services Collections and Exhibitions Privacy Notice – Southampton City Art Gallery

Southampton City Council Cultural Services Collections and Exhibitions Privacy Notice

What information do we collect?

We only capture personal data that is relevant to the items that enter our care and we do so for archiving purposes in the public interest. Items come to the collection and exhibition teams for a variety of reasons. These include donations and purchases for the museum, gallery and archives collections, loans for exhibitions, talks and research and identifications.

We collect the contact details of the depositor/owner (name, address, telephone, email) and why the items have entered the care of Southampton City Council’s Cultural Services Team.

The stories of items are often individual and we will record this information. This tells us about who created / owned / sold / wore / is mentioned or depicted in the item, where they lived and when.  We may capture information about where someone worked, what societies and bodies they belonged to and what they did socially.

Where do we hold personal data?

Information is held in on forms, letters and record cards (manual systems) and on our collections management systems (digital).

  • Letters and correspondence including emails
  • Receipts, entry, transfer of title and deposit forms
  • Registers, daybooks
  • Loans In (loans to the City Collections)
  • Loans Out (loans from the City Collections)
  • Object record cards
  • Image reproduction correspondence and forms
  • Oral History correspondence and forms
  • Databases
  • Microsoft Office – Word, Access, Excel, csv, txt, xml (for database)
  • Exhibition text and labels
  • Websites

Letter and receipts are used to show the provenance of the collections and ownership. They tell us why we hold something in the collections and indicate how they contribute to the purpose of the collections. The way we collect items and thus information is governed by the Mission Statement of Cultural Services and the Collecting Policies / Collecting Development Frameworks (Acquisitions and Disposal Policy) we work within. The information held by heritage bodies has to be considered against national and international standards and we must meet national standards to achieve Accredited Organisation status.

Archaeological archives contain personal information about members of staff of the contracting unit.  Personal information may also include that of specialists who contributed to the reporting process, clients and others commissioning fieldwork, and those specifying and monitoring fieldwork. This information is usually in the public domain through the normal operation of the planning process.

We collect the contact details of researchers from all over the world, who carry out research into elements of the collection. Information about items in the collection provided by researchers as a result of their work may be included in collection records, and this will include personal details of the researcher.

We display collections on a permanent and temporary basis, send items out for display to other heritage bodies, and allow research. We may share information about our collections through websites.

For items that will form part of the permanent collections we need to record sufficient information to demonstrate how the acquisition of the items contribute to our collections. Southampton Cultural Services has a Collections Development Policy that documents the criteria that we work to.

The collections are the ‘archive of memories and history’ in which our locality’s identity as gateway to the world over at least the last 700,000 years is recorded. They are the sources of artistic inspiration that have changed local people’s view of the world. They are full of fascinating and diverse stories waiting to be explored through exhibitions, online resources, tours, workshops, study visits and publications.

These collections form a dynamic resource which has been built up through the vision and stewardship of the people of Southampton. Over the last 200 years, they have been an important focus of civic pride and an invaluable and inspirational resource for local people and visitors to the city. As guardians on behalf of local citizens and future generations, we aim to continue that focus, and to maintain and develop the collections in a way that continues to maximise their access and enjoyment by a wide audience.

As part of professional museum standards we are expected to know who owns the items in our care, this information helps us do this. We work to the requirements covered in Museum Accreditation run by Arts Council England and following both Spectrum (Collections Trust) and CIDOC (ICOM) standards. We need sufficient information to be able to contact the depositor/owner to pass on or check information about their items and then reunite the items deposited temporarily with Cultural services with the correct person.

Information on the forms is processed so that we keep long term records of who has put objects in our care, when and why they did this. Loans can last for weeks, months or even years and we need to be able to always identify these as part of the professional museum documentation standards. Even when loans have been returned, we retain what we were lent, by whom and when.

Information about the acquisition and / or provenance of the items will be shared within the Collections and Exhibitions teams for the purposes of exhibition.

6(1)(e) – Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller
9(2)(j) – Processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, or scientific and historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1)

Historical research includes genealogical research, but the GDPR generally does not apply to deceased persons (Recital 160). The exception for archiving in the public interest applies to public and private entities that “hold records of public interest,” provided they are under a legal obligation “to acquire, preserve, appraise, arrange, describe, communicate, promote, disseminate and provide access to records of enduring value for general public interest” (Recital 158). The Regulation also includes a reference to “specific information related to the political behaviour under former totalitarian state regimes,” likely to facilitate research surrounding the Holocaust.

To request full details of the information we hold about you please contact

For further information on data and Southampton City Council please see our privacy policy

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