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Guidance for the re-use of Museum of London information


1. Some of the terms used in this guidance are defined below and this document should be read on this basis:


any representation of acts, facts or information whatever its medium (electronic, paper or otherwise) including sound, visual or audiovisual information created and held by the museum and which the museum has the right to authorise re-use.


for the purpose of this document ‘Intellectual Property Rights’ (“IPR”) should be taken to mean any of the following rights:

(a) copyright (within the meaning of section 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988)
(b) database right (within the meaning of regulation 13 of the Copyright and Rights in Database Regulations 1997)
(c) publication right (within the meaning of regulation 16 of the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 1996) and
(d) rights in performances (meaning the rights conferred by Part 2 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988);

Public task

the functions of the Museum of London as set out in the Museum of London Acts 1965 and 1986 (see statement of public task below).


the use of a document by a third party for a purpose other than originally intended.

Working days

days excluding weekends and public holidays.

Museum of London statement of public task

2. This statement describes the Museum of London’s current public task for the purpose of the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005, the Re-Use of Public Sector Information (Amendment) Regulations 2015 and the EU PSI Directive 2013/37/EU (together “the Regulations”).

3. The functions and powers of the Museum of London (“the Museum”) are set out in the Museum of London Acts 1965 and 1986. It is the museum’s public task:

“To care for, preserve and add objects in their collections”

“To secure that those objects are exhibited to the public and made available to persons seeking to inspect them in connection with study or research”

“Generally to promote the understanding and/or appreciation of historic or contemporary London or of its society or culture, by means of its collections or such other means as it considers appropriate”

The museum’s public task is reflected its strategic objectives.

4. Any documents which the museum produces in furtherance of the above will be considered as falling within its public task. The subsequent use of such documents by the museum for a purpose other than originally intended will still be considered to be use rather than re-use for the purpose of the Regulations as long as it lies within the museum’s public task.

The museum holds and uses documents primarily for, but not limited to, the following purposes within its public task:

  • The promotion and provision of access to the museum’s collections
  • The production and promotion of exhibitions and gallery display
  • The production of material relating to the care and preservation of its collection
  • The production and publication of educational material in all forms of medi
  • The production and publication and sale of books and other informative material in all forms of medi
  • The production and sale of replicas, reproductions and souvenirs
  • The licensing of rights to third parties for commercial and non-commercial use

5. For the avoidance of doubt the museum’s trading subsidiary is independent of the museum and wholly commercial in nature and does not therefore fall within the scope of the Regulations.

Where documents are used by the museum’s trading subsidiary in furtherance of the museum’s public task this will be considered to be use rather than re-use for the purpose of the Regulations, as will the use of documents provided to other third parties in furtherance of the museum’s public task, such as use by the media or others to promote the museum and it’s collections.

6. Documents held as part of the museum’s public task may at the museum’s discretion be made available for re-use under the Regulations. It should be noted that giving permission for such re-use is not mandatory unless the document has already been re-used by the museum or a third party for a similar purpose to that proposed by the requestor. If you wish to make a request for re-use please see the guidance below.

7. This statement is based on the Museum of London Acts 1965 and 1986 and will be reviewed if there are any substantive changes to these that impact on the museum’s public task. If you have any queries on this public task statement you can submit them using the contact us form. If you have a complaint about how a request for re-use has been dealt with you can submit it using our complaints process – see below.

Making a request for re-use

8. Requests for re-use of museum documents should be directed to the Museum of London picture library, [email protected]. If you wish to make a request to re-use museum documents please provide the following information in writing:

a. Your name and a physical address for correspondence. Requests for re-use will not be processed if only an email address is provided or the request is anonymous. If you are acting on behalf of a third party please provide details of who this is.
b. Details of the document you are requesting for re-use.
c. Details of the purpose for which the document is to be re-used. To avoid delays in processing your request please be clear about your proposed re-use. The museum reserves the right to refuse to allow re-use for purposes it considers to be unsuitable (see Appendix A).

9. After receiving your request for re-use the museum will endeavour to respond within twenty working days of receipt but may extend this where documents requested are extensive or there are complex issues.

10. If there are likely to be delays with making a decision then by the twentieth day after receipt of your request the museum will contact you in writing to let you know:

a. That no decision has been reached; and
b. An estimated date by which it is expected that the museum will be in a position to respond with either:
i. A refusal to allow re-use with the reasons for this; or
ii. An agreement to allow re-use together with the terms under which it may be re-used.


11. Due to the range of requests charges for the supply and/or licensing of documents vary depending on the document and the nature of the re-use.

Notification of refusal

12. If your request for re-use of museum documents is refused you will be informed in writing of the following:

a. The reason for the refusal;
b. Where that refusal is due to a third party owning intellectual property rights in the document requested who that third party is (if known);
c. Your right to appeal the decision and how to do this.

Complaints and appeals procedure

13. If you have made a request for re-use of museum documents under the Regulations and want to appeal the decision or make a complaint please follow this procedure.

14. Set out in writing the grounds for your complaint and how you believe that the museum has failed to comply with its obligations under the Regulations. Please send the complaint to the museum at the address below within twenty working days of receiving the notification of refusal for re-use.

Director of Enterprise
EU PSI Complaints
Museum of London
150 London Wall
London EC2Y 5HN

15. Please include in the appeal details of your original request together with your name, address and an email address if available.

16. The museum will aim to acknowledge your appeal within ten working days of receipt and will try to provide a substantive response to the appeal within twenty working days after that. On occasion it may take longer to resolve an appeal if it is complex and there is ambiguity over who is the owner of the intellectual property rights. If the appeal is likely to take longer to resolve the museum will write to you with an estimate of the likely timescale for resolution.

17. Once a decision has been made the museum write to you to let you know whether the appeal has been upheld or refused. Where an appeal has been refused you will be given the reasons for this.

18. If you remain unhappy with the decision then you can make a complaint to the Office of Public Sector Information at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU. Email: [email protected]. Telephone: +44 (0)20 8876 3444.

Appendix A

Documents not available for re-use under the Regulations

  • Documents in which a third party owns intellectual property rights.
  • Documents commissioned by a third party.
  • Images of loan objects where the loan agreement limits reproduction
  • Documents to which exemptions to disclose in Part II of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 apply.
  • Documents which are subject to legal privilege.
  • Documents which are confidential on commercial grounds.
  • Documents produced or held for a purpose other than the museum’s public task.
  • Parts of documents consisting only of logos and branding
  • Any documents where re-use would be against the public interest having regard to:

(a) the museums’ policies;
(b) the safety and security of the Collection or the museum’s premises;
(c) the safety, security and privacy of any person;
(d) in the case of human remains held in the Collection, the principles set out in the museum’s Human Remains Policy; and
(e) in the case of cultural property generally, the principles set out in Combating Illicit Trade: Due Diligence Guidelines for Museums, Libraries and Archives on Collecting and Borrowing Cultural Material (DCMS 2005)

  • Any document where the end use is deemed unsuitable by the museum having regard to:

(a) the museums’ policies and values;
(b) the legality or otherwise of the proposed use;
(c) the potential for the proposed use to bring the museum into disrepute;
(d) the potential for the reuse to be in connection with the promotion of extreme views or where the proposed reuse would be contrary to the principles of public decency or could cause offence.
(e) issues of cultural sensitivity; where the use is trivialising, sensationalising, de-contextualising or demeaning the subject matter
(f) suggesting the museum endorses an organisation, or their re-use of the information
(g) misleading others or misrepresenting the subject matter or its source