4. Legislation

Introduction

There are two areas of legislation that have significant implications for community heritage groups.

Data protection is concerned with ensuring that information held about living individuals is kept and used appropriately, and covers both how you look after your own members’ details and the information that is held within archive collections.Your collections will also inevitably contain items protected by copyright, and this has important implications as to whether you should make copies or digitise items for publication or inclusion on websites.

Both are complex areas and potentially problematic, and if disregarded can have serious consequences thereby damaging a group’s reputation. For this reason, this part of the accreditation scheme is the only one that requires participation in formal training, offered by the West Yorkshire Archive Service.

Learning benchmarks

By the end of this section you will:

  • Understand your obligations regarding data protection for your own members, contact details and material held in collections
  • Decide whether copyright exists, who it belongs to and for how long
  • Understand how to administer your collections to comply with the letter and spirit of copyright law

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