Balliol College Archives & Manuscripts

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Closure periods and access restrictions

This page deals with closure periods for specific types or collections of records rather than closed periods for the Historic Collections Centre; for the latter, please see

This policy applies to the use of archival records for research purposes. Where information is required for administrative purposes, access will be given to records of any age to persons acting on behalf of the College department or section which created them, or its successor; if appropriate, records may be returned temporarily to that department or section.

Balliol College Archives is obliged to meet the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998. Access to information in the Archives is provided in accordance with these Acts and related guidance issued by the Information Commissioner and other appropriate authorities.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2005, which is in effect as of 1 January 2005, many College records are now open to enquiries. A number of exemptions apply:

  • Material previously closed under the Data Protection Act is still so closed, and enquirers must follow established procedures and pay a fee (normally £10) to access such information.
  • Material deemed personal or sensitive is closed
  • Material deemed of commercial significance to the College’s interests is closed. For the College’s Publication Scheme, enquiry contact details and further explanation of the Freedom of Information legislation, please see the College FoI pages.

Access to administrative archival records which are less than 30 years old will require the permission of the College department or section which created them or its successor. Application should be made in the first instance to the Archivist.

Records less than 75 but more than 30 years old are open to public access, subject to the conditions and exceptions provided for under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts:

Most records more than 75 years old are open to public access, with the exception of any personal health records, which are closed for the life of the subject or 100 years after creation, whichever is later. Other exceptions are listed below.

Archival material may not be available for consultation for several further reasons:

  • Access restrictions made by depositors
  • Conservation: items may have been removed for conservation and repair, or they may not be in a fit physical state to be handled.
  • Uncatalogued material will not normally be produced.


- Anna Sander

You do not need to request permission to download or print one copy of any of the images on these pages for your personal private study or research purposes.
You do need to request permission in writing to use any of these images for any publication in any format, including any use on a website.

The archives and manuscripts of Balliol College are open by appointment to enquirers in person at the Historic Collections Centre in St Cross Church, Holywell.
Enquiries should be sent in writing (email or post).
There is no charge for Archive enquiries, but donations for Archive purposes are always appreciated.
Updated 11.viii.14
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