Privacy Policy—

The Built Works Registry (BWR) is made available through technical platforms supplied by Artstor and adheres to the Artstor privacy policy.

Artstor is committed to protecting the privacy of users of our website and services. To better inform you of our policy concerning user privacy, we have adopted the following guidelines, which adhere to the Safe Harbor Principles published by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Please note that these guidelines are subject to change, and any such changes will be posted on this page in the Artstor website. These guidelines cover the use of the Artstor website and all Artstor services – including, for example, the Artstor Digital Library, Shared Shelf, and the Images for Academic Publishing (IAP) service.

The Information Artstor Collects

To the extent that your institution has not implemented an automated authentication and authorization system (such as Shibboleth), you can perform many functions using the Artstor services without providing Artstor with any personally identifiable information. For example, you can perform searches of and view the Artstor Digital Library collections, IAP collections, or your institution’s hosted collections in Shared Shelf while maintaining anonymity. If your institution has implemented a system such as Shibboleth, and that system is utilized for authentication purposes when you access the Artstor services, that system will automatically transmit to Artstor some personal information, such as your institutional log-in or user name and your role within an institution, to facilitate such authentication and authorization.

In addition, should you utilize other features of the Artstor systems, you may be required to provide personal information. For example, you may be required to provide personal information to perform certain services in Shared Shelf (such as sharing your image collections with others), or if you seek to download images from the IAP service for publication purposes (in which case, Artstor is required to collect and share with the institution providing the images for publication certain personal information, such as for example your name, address, and email address). In addition, should you seek to save image groups or folders of image groups or other content for future retrieval, you will be required to provide an email address, which allows Artstor to retrieve such content and preferences for you, using that email address, should you so require.

Institutional Administrator Access to Your Image Groups

Some institutions facilitate their users’ use of their digital resources by providing administrative support for such resources, such as helping save materials into course folders, or removing materials that are no longer needed. To provide such support, one or more representatives at an institution, such as a library administrator (“Institutional Administrator”), may need to associate such electronic materials with the individual who created them, so that they can determine, for example, whether a particular user wants update or to continue to maintain such materials.

If you elect to register as a user of the Artstor services, or to save electronically image groups or other materials using the Artstor services, you give Artstor permission to provide the Institutional Administrator the email address that was used to register with Artstor. You also give the Institutional Administrator or Artstor (should the Institutional Administrator so direct us) permission to access the image groups or other materials that you have created, to make changes to such materials (including deleting such materials, either in full or in part), and to contact you at the email address provided with respect to such materials, for the purpose of administering and supporting the institution’s subscription to the Artstor services. Your having given the Institutional Administrator and Artstor permission to perform these roles does not necessarily imply that these activities will be performed at your particular institution. Please contact your Institutional Administrator if you have questions about institutional policy in this area.

Participation in Optional Surveys

Artstor will seek to conduct surveys on the Artstor website, or through the Artstor services, and to send surveys to selected groups of Artstor registered users, who have given us permission to send them email, for purposes of better understanding users’ needs and interests, and for improving the Artstor services and site over time. In those cases, we will link the voluntary survey results to the registered user's email address. Participating in such surveys is optional.

Information Collected with Technology

Artstor collects some non-personally identifiable information about you through its use of technology, so it may not be readily apparent to you that it is being collected. For instance, when you come to our site, your IP address is collected so that we know where to send information you are requesting. An IP address is often associated with the place from which you enter the Internet. We also may collect other non-personally identifiable information, such as the type of browser you are using (e.g., Netscape, Internet Explorer), the type of operating system you are using (e.g., Windows 2000 or Mac OS), and the domain name of your Internet service provider.

Artstor's Use of Cookies

Artstor employs "cookie" technology. Cookies are small pieces of text that are stored on your computer and act as a tool for controlling certain system variables and storing system configuration information in the WWW environment. Artstor uses cookies to store user preferences, such as for viewing and printing, and to store authentication information, and in connection with requiring users to agree to our Terms and Conditions of Use. Artstor does not link cookie data with personally identifiable information. No personal information is extracted in the cookie setting process, and we do not use cookies to identify what other sites or pages you have visited. We do not involve advertisers, who may place a cookie on your browser, in the operation of our site.

Data Integrity; Use of the Information

We use personal information we collect in ways that are compatible with the purposes for which it was intended to be used: to facilitate your use of the Artstor services; to respond to your inquiries about Artstor and Artstor services; to improve our website and services; for system administration, customer support and troubleshooting purposes; for product service and similar announcements; for sending newsletters and other updates of specific interest to users; to correspond with users; to respond to uses of the Artstor services in violation of the applicable Terms and Conditions of Use, and to track and analyze site usage. Artstor will take reasonable steps to ensure that personal information is relevant to its intended use, and that it is maintained securely as set forth below.

Onward Transfer of Information

Except in the following special circumstances, as outlined herein, Artstor does not share personal information about individual users:

  • If required to do so by law or if we believe in good faith that such action is necessary to comply with the law or a legal proceeding, to protect against violations of our Terms and Conditions of Use, or to prevent damage or injury to our rights or the rights of contributors to Artstor services;
  • With service providers with whom we have entered into agreements to assist us with our business operations (subject to provisions requiring confidentiality and security of such data);
  • With respect to IAP images, with the content providers who provided those images for publication, when a user downloads an image for use in a publication;
  • With other third parties, such as an institution with which you are affiliated or with one of our related organizations whose services you may be interested in, where you explicitly consent to our sharing your information;
  • Artstor may also occasionally share your institutional contact information with our affiliate organizations, such Ithaka/JSTOR, to enable institutions to learn about services related to those provided by Artstor which we think may be of interest.

In addition, Artstor shares general usage data in aggregated form, so that no personal information is identifiable, to institutions licensing the Artstor services, content providers, and the general public.

Artstor will provide you with all of your retained personal information (where applicable) on request. When sharing personal information as set forth above, Artstor requires that recipients of such information implement measures to protect the privacy and security of such data.

Artstor does not sell personal information for commercial purposes.

Your Consent; Opting Out

By using our website and the Artstor services, you consent to the collection, use and sharing, in accordance with this policy, of the information you provide to us. We will remove you and your personally identifiable information from our databases or refrain from using your personally identifiable information in connection with certain services on request if you contact us with your request at Please note that this may cancel or limit your access to Artstor services.


We protect your personal information from unauthorized access and disclosure through the use of passwords, physical security measures, managerial measures and other electronic means. We nonetheless recognize that third parties may obtain access to information through unlawful actions, and thus do not promise that your information always will remain private, despite our efforts and the importance we place on maintaining your privacy. In addition, we do not claim any responsibility for information collected by or from websites linking to or from Artstor.

Access and Correction

If you would like to review or update your information, you may contact us using the contact information below. We will take reasonable steps to permit you to correct, amend, or delete information that is demonstrated to be inaccurate. You will need to provide sufficient identifying information, such as your name and email address and possible additional identifying information as a security precaution. We may limit or deny access to personal information where providing such access would be unreasonably burdensome or expensive under the circumstances or as otherwise permitted by the Safe Harbor Principles.

Enforcement and Dispute Resolution

We engage in periodic self-assessment to ensure compliance with our Privacy Policy. We verify that the policy is accurate, comprehensive for the information intended to be covered, prominently displayed, completely implemented, and in conformity with the Safe Harbor Principles. We encourage interested persons to raise any concerns with us using the contact information below. We will investigate and attempt to resolve complaints and disputes regarding use and disclosure of personal information in accordance with the principles contained in this policy.

Any claims or disputes that cannot be resolved through our internal processes will be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association, which would apply applicable United States (federal or state) law, without regard to its conflict of law principles.

Contact Us

If you have any inquiries about Artstor’s privacy policy or its implementation, you may contact us at

Last updated on October 14, 2010.