Information about cookies

What are cookies?

A cookie is a text-only string of information that a website transfers to the cookie file of the browser on your computer's hard disk so that the website can remember who you are. A cookie will typically contain the name of the domain from which the cookie has come, the "lifetime" of the cookie, and a value, usually a randomly generated unique number.

Recent legislation and guidance on cookies

The law concerning cookies and similar technologies for storing information on a user's equipment such as their computer or mobile device was changed on 26 May 2011. This new ICO legislation came into effect in the UK on 26 May 2012.

In light of the new legislation we have made some changes to our website. In the meantime if you would like further information on how we use cookies please email us.

Email customer services

How we use cookies

Cookies are used on the Natural History Museum "NHM" website, "the Site" and other key affiliated sites as follows.

Cookie namePurposeMore information
__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmz, _gaUsed to collect information about how visitors use the Site. We use the information to compile reports and to make improvements. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form.Google analytics cookies are used across the whole NHM domain.
nhm.sso.loggedIn, CASTGC, JSESSIONIDNecessary to manage the Site Single Sign On user login system.NHM's Single Sign On cookies are used across the Site where users can be logged on.
jive.user.loggedIn, jive.server.infoCore part of NaturePlus community functionality to manage registered users.NaturePlus cookies are used within the NaturePlus community section.
datrUsed to track Facebook login status, for sharing content to Facebook.These cookies are used when a Facebook 'like' button is embedded into a page.
twll, k, k (, pid, original_referer, _twitter_sessMultiple cookies used by Twitter services, to monitor referral links, and login status.These are used where the 'Tweet this' button or other Twitter widgets are present on the website.
PREFStores Google Search preferencesUsed across the whole Site to support the internal search functionality.
jive.recentHistory.-1, jive.recentHistory.{userid}Stores browsed NaturePlus content identifiers, creates one cookie for all non-logged in users and individual cookies for logged in usersUsed within the NaturePlus section
JSESSIONIDStores basket and login information to enable effective online transactionsUsed within the Buy Online section
BROWSERSESSION, Coyote-2-d04dd0adStores basket and login information to enable effective online transactionsUsed within the Prints on Demand section
NaturalHistoryMuseum, cookieaddposition, cookieconfirmpopup, cookieshowfixed, cookielbcart, cookielbfixedoptions, cookieminmax, lastsearchUsed to store information relating to items in the basket or lightbox, recent searches, and login information.Used within the Picture Library section
.ASPXFORMSAUTH, ASP.NET_SessionIdSession cookies to manage logged in users.Used within our recruitment portal
wpy.voteUsed to record a user vote for a competition entry for the Wildlife Photographer of the year competition.Found within the Wildlife Photographer of the Year section
Archive.Catalog.SearchStores search history for library catalogue.Only used within the library section at
site-versionRecords user selection of viewing device preference (mobile or desktop)Used across the website when a user chooses to view in either 'desktop' or 'mobile' mode.
nhm_cookie_acceptRecords user acceptance of cookie notice.Used across the website to control the cookie notification banner.
CACHED_FRONT_FORM_KEY, CART, CATEGORY_INFO, LAST_CATEGORY, PHPSESSID, VIEWED_PRODUCT_IDS, adminhtml, frontendRecords user preferences and online experience for online shop.Used on the online shop site.

Session cookies

Session cookies are used throughout different parts of the Site. These cookies are essential to provide dynamic functionality; no private data is stored and they are cleared at the end of the visitor session.

Social media cookies

Various third party services may use cookies for embedded media such as YouTube videos, or Flickr images, or social media sharing services, such as Facebook and Twitter links. We are continuing to investigate how this affects our users privacy and will be making future changes to further improve how we use these services.

Partner and affiliated websites

The Museum hosts a number of additional websites on other domains. We are continuing to review these to assess impacts on your privacy. Please check the individual websites for more information.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. However, you may not be able to use all the interactive features of the Site if cookies are disabled. If you want to find out more about how to disable cookies please see this external third party website:

Last updated: 28 January 2014

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The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5000