Our Museums

Privacy Statement

At National Museums NI we take the confidentiality of personal data seriously and we are dedicated to protecting the privacy of the people who use this website.

National Museums NI, Cultra, Holywood, BT18 0EU.

We are registered as a charity and our registration number is NIC103729.

We are registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office and our registration reference is Z6753239.


Under UK GDPR, National Museums NI shall only process personal data if we have a legal reason to do so. This is called the lawful basis for processing (article 6 of the GDPR framework). 

There are six lawful bases for processing personal data:

  • Consent: You have given clear permission for us to process your personal data for a specific purpose, e.g. you wish to receive email marketing.
  • Contract: We need to process personal data in order to fulfil a contract with you, or because we have asked you to take steps before entering into a contract. E.g. we are required to process personal data in order to comply with a membership contract.
  • Legal obligation: We are required to process personal data in order to comply with a law or regulation. E.g. during the Covid-19 pandemic, we were required to hold ‘Track & Trace’ information relating to all visitors.
  • Vital interests: We need to process personal data to protect your life or health.
  • Public task: We need to process personal data in order to carry out a task that is in the public interest, or to exercise official authority.
  • Legitimate interests: We have a good reason to process personal data and the individual's interests and rights do not override our reasons. E.g. we might process an employee's personal data in order to monitor performance.

If you are unsure about the lawful basis for processing personal data, or if you have any other questions relating to GDPR, please contact our Data Information Officer.

The right to be informed under GDPR gives individuals the right to know what personal data is being collected about them, how it is being used and who it is being shared with. National Museums NI is required to provide this information in a clear and concise way and individuals have the right to access it at any time.

Here is an example of how the right to be informed is applied in practice:

  • When you sign up for email marketing from any of our museums, you will be told what information is being collected about you, how it is being used and who it is being shared with.

We collect the personal data that you may volunteer as part of ticket bookings, online purchases, Membership or donation forms, email marketing sign-ups and visitor surveys.

Personal information we collect may include:

  • your name, title, gender and date of birth;
  • postal address, email address and phone number;
  • family and spouse/partner details, relationships to other donors and/or members;
  • current interests and activities.

We will also collect and hold information about any contact you have with us as a visitor, customer or supporter of National Museums NI, and may consist of details of:

  • ticket purchase and event registration/attendance;
  • online retail purchases;
  • contact preferences;
  • gift information, including Direct Debit bank details where applicable;
  • Gift Aid status;
  • details of correspondence sent to you, or received from you;
  • donor status and wealth assessment information;
  • employment information and professional activities;
  • where relevant, selected media coverage;
  • photography and videography;
  • any other information provided by yourself at the request of National Museums NI. When we ask you to provide your personal information we will let you know why we are asking and how we will use your data upfront or by directing you towards this notice.

We collect information about you when you make a gift to museum collections or indicate a future bequest. This information is used to verify the provenance and copyright of the item, and to provide an audit of ownership, and will not be made public without seeking the donor’s consent.

Depending on your relationship with National Museums NI, and the preferences you have indicated, data we hold may be used by us for the following purposes:

  • To send you promotional, marketing or fundraising information by post, telephone or electronic means. These types of communications can include:
    • Informing you of products, services or events related to our museums, such as exhibitions, events, or retail offers.
    • News and updates about the four museums within National Museums NI, so that's the Ulster Museum, Ulster Folk Museum, Ulster American Folk Park and Ulster Transport Museum, about what’s on and marketing or supporter emails.
  • Information on our fundraising operations
  • Other relevant communications based upon your relationship with National Museums NI museums.
  • Research, to help us understand our members, donors and potential donors.
  • To send you surveys for audience and market research purposes.
  • Tools may be used to monitor the effectiveness of our communications with you, including email tracking, which records when an e-newsletter from us is opened and/or how many links are clicked within the message.
  • You can opt out of any/all of our communications at any point simply by contacting us.

There are some Membership and donation communications that we are required to send, regardless of your contact preferences. These are essential communications, deemed necessary to fulfil our contractual obligations to you. This would include Direct Debit confirmations and advanced notices, thank you letters, membership cards and renewal reminders, Gift Aid confirmation letters and querying returned mail or bounced Direct Debit payments with you.


In common with many websites, we use "cookies" to help us gather the following information from visitors to nationalmuseumsni.org for example:

  • the IP address from which you access the site
  • the type of browser and operating system used to access the site
  • the date and time of your access to the site
  • the pages you visit
  • the internet address of the website from which you accessed the site

We use information from cookies, for example, to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the type of technology that our visitors use. Cookies help us to monitor what sort of content is popular and to assess visitors' browsing habits. When a user revisits the site, we may recognise the user by the cookie and customise the user's experience accordingly.

We do not disclose personal data to any third parties or external organisations, other than data processors carrying out work on our behalf or where your contact details have been requested from us by the NI Public Health Agency for the purposes of COVID-19 contact tracing, in which case our lawful basis for processing will be that processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.

National Museums NI may share personal data with legal authorities, such as the police or tax authorities, where it is necessary for law enforcement purposes. This includes the prevention, investigation and detection of crime, and the prosecution of criminal offences.

As set out in our photography and videography consent forms, we may also share photo and video assets with third-party tourism partners like Tourism Northern Ireland as part of marketing use.

Any data processors appointed by us are acting as approved data processors for National Museums NI and we retain full responsibility for your personal data. Data processors will act only on our instructions.

We are required to ensure any transfers of data will be done securely, in accordance with best practice, and in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018.

Your data will never be sold or passed to any third party for any other purpose.

We have implemented security procedures, rules and technical measures to protect the personal data that we have under our control from:

  • unauthorised access;
  • improper use or disclosure;
  • unauthorised modification.

All our employees and data processors, who have access to, and are associated with the processing of personal data, are legally obliged to respect the confidentiality of our visitors’ and supporters’ personal data.

You can check what personal information we hold about you, update your information, ask us to remove your information or correct any inaccuracies in such personal information by contacting us. This is called a Subject Access Request.

To make a Request you will need to provide adequate proof of identity such as a copy of your passport, birth certificate or driving licence before your request can be processed. Please try to be as clear as possible about the information you are seeking.

Once we have received your Subject Access Request, and proof of identity, you will receive a response from us within 30 days.

Subject Access Requests must be made in writing and addressed to the Data Protection Officer, National Museums NI, Cultra, Holywood, Co. Down, BT18 0EU. Alternatively, requests can be submitted via email to [email protected].