Making requests

You can make a request for information from the Museum in writing.

How to request information

Requests must be made in writing, either by email or by letter to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Coordinator at the address below. 

FOI Coordinator
Library and Information Services
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD
Email FOI Coordinator

The Museum has a duty to inform the applicant whether the information is held, and supply it within 20 days, if possible in the format requested.

Information may be exempt from disclosure if it would affect or compromise:

  • an individual’s right under the Data Protection Act
  • the environment under the Environmental Information Regulations
  • the health, safety and/or security of Museum staff and visitors
  • the Museum’s commercial confidentiality

Generally no charge is made for responding to FOI requests. If the work required to deal with a request will take more than 18 hours, the Museum is not obliged to respond. Alternatively, a fee of £25 per hour may be charged once this limit is reached. However, the applicant will be informed if this 18 hour limit is going to be exceeded, and will be given the opportunity to revise the request in order to bring it within the time frame.

Appeals procedure

If you are not satisfied by the reply to your request for information, you are entitled to appeal. The first step is to seek an internal review of the Museum’s handling of your request. Please submit your application for a review in writing to the FOI Coordinator at the address above. The review will be undertaken by a senior member of staff who was not involved in the initial response to your request.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome or the conduct of the Museum’s internal review, you may seek an independent review from the Information Commissioner. Requests for a review should be made in writing to the:

Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: 08456 30 60 60 or
Tel: +44 (0)1625 545700
Or visit the Information Commissioner's website.

Cartoon image of a snake disappearing through closing door

Last year nearly 100,000 specimens were loaned to scientific institutions and researchers worldwide.