Royal Asiatic Society

Privacy Policy

The Royal Asiatic Society is committed to safeguarding your personal information in accordance with data protection legislation. This policy explains how, and on what legal basis, we collect, store, and use any ‘personal data’ that you might give us.

‘Personal data’ means any information relating to you, through which you can be identified either directly or indirectly such as your name, contact details or institution.

1.0. When might we collect your personal information?

You may choose to provide us with your personal information when:

  • You register as a Fellow at the Society
  • Subscribe to the Society’s blog
  • Registering for events (including in-person and virtual)
  • Applying for one of the Society’s studentship, visiting Fellowships or prize awards e.g. The Bayly Prize
  • Donate items to our collections or make an exhibition loan request.
  • Make a monetary donation to the Society
  • Visiting the Society’s reading room or requesting reprographics orders.
  • Apply for a job or placement opportunity
  • Submit an article for potential publication by The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

2.0. What type of personal information might we collect?

We might collect or process different types of personal information from yourself depending on the services that you have requested. This may include:

  • Title, forename and surname
  • Email address
  • Contact numbers
  • Postal address
  • Date of birth
  • Occupation/Institution details (such as University name/course details)
  • Payment information (such as debit or credit card details)
  • Opinions, preferences, feedback, complaints, comments and/or suggestions (including comments made on our social media pages and through email)
  • Preferences, access needs and dietary information.
  • Employment-related information (if you apply for a job, placement, internship or voluntary post)

2.1. We will only collect sensitive information from yourself such as access requirements, when it is deemed essential.

2.2. Please note that we might store your personal information in electronic and hardcopy format.

2.3. Award/funding applications are reviewed by an external panel of assessors to ensure that the application process is as transparent as possible.

2.4. Recordings and photography will often take place during events and will sometimes be circulated on our social media channels and website. Attendees will be notified of this prior to the event and will not be included in photographs and recordings if they choose to opt-out.

3.0 Why do we collect this information?

The main reasons why we collect your information are to carry out and perform our contract with you, comply with legal obligations and in some cases, we use your personal information to pursue legitimate interests of our own or those of third parties (provided your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests).

The information we collect is, and will, only be used for one of the purposes outlined in this statement and where we have a valid legal basis for doing so.

We will process your personal data for the purposes identified in this document on the following legal bases:

  • Our legitimate interests, which relate to processing personal data for the purposes of administering Society memberships as well as the provision of our products, services and information.
  • Where we have a contract with you and processing is necessary to our obligations to you under that contract, or in preparation for entering into a contract with you.
  • As necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and/or to enforce our contractual agreements.
  • Where processing your details may be in the public interest, such as listing medal and award winners on our website and social media channels.
  • Where you have freely consented to our use of your personal data for a specified purpose on an informed and unambiguous basis. Where this is the case, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us through the details given at the bottom of this page.


4.0 Sensitive Information

Certain types of sensitive data require greater protection under data protection law and we need further justification for storing this type of data. Examples include: information relating to your health such as, if you are taken ill on site and require first aid treatment and access needs that you may require when attending an event or using the reading room facilities.

5.0 How do we store this information and keep it safe?

The Royal Asiatic Society is committed to safeguarding your personal information and privacy and we have put appropriate measures in place to prevent your information from being accidentally lost or accessed in an unauthorised way. We also regularly monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Please note that where you have chosen a password to access certain parts of our website, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. Also, we are not able to guarantee the security of any transmission of personal material over the internet. For instance, communications sent over the internet, such as emails, are not always secure and you will need to accept the security risks before doing so.

6.0 How long do we retain your information for?

We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfill the purposes for collecting it.

The Society has a data retention policy that sets out the different periods we retain personal data for in accordance with our duties under applicable data protection law.

The criteria we used for determining these retention periods are based on:

6.1. Various legislative requirements i.e. data protection/GDPR, tax and employment legislation.

6.2. The purpose for which we collected that personal data and where we have identified a continued need to hold that personal data to serve a compelling legitimate purpose.

6.3. Relevant codes or guidance on data retention issued by regulatory authorities including the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).


Personal data we no longer hold is disposed of in a secure manner or transferred to the Society’s institutional archive if deemed as having archival value. There is a separate sensitivity policy for making accessible material within the Society’s collections.


7.0 What happens if you fail to provide personal data?

If you fail to provide the relevant information required to apply as a Fellow or when subscribing to the blog, we will not be able to provide those services to you. If you do not provide the information required when applying for a job/funding application, we will not be able to process your application any further.

8.0 Your rights

Under certain circumstances, by law, you have the right to:

8.1 Access your personal information at any time and check that we are lawfully processing it.

8.2. Request correction of the personal information that we hold on you.

8.3. Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information when there is no good reason for us continuing to process it.

8.4. Withdraw your consent for us to use your personal information at any time.

If you would like to exercise any rights given above please contact the Society’s Archivist Emma Jones at

9.0 Changes to this Statement

We reserve the right to make any given changes to this policy in accordance with relevant legislation or within the Society itself. However, you do also hold the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Officer at: if you are unhappy with the Society’s service.

10.0 Contact Us

If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the Society’s Archivist, Emma Jones at

Royal Asiatic Society

14 Stephenson Way,



August 2021