Information about cookies

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that are sent to your computer by websites that you visit. 

They are used widely to improve how websites work, such as enabling interactive features, and to provide information to website owners about how their site is used and how well it is performing.

Legislation about cookies

The EU cookie law, introduced in 2011, requires that websites make clear how and why they use cookies.

Below, you can find information about all the cookies that we use on the Natural History Museum ("NHM") website ("The Site"), and our affiliated websites.

Cookie namePurposeMore information
_we_wk_ss_lsfUsed by our WebEngage survey software to determine if you have visited our website before, whether or not you have completed a survey before and the last time you did soThe cookie is used across the main sections of our website
__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmz, _ga, __gatUsed to collect information anonymously about how visitors use the Site. We use the information to compile reports and to make improvementsGoogle analytics cookies are used across the whole NHM domain
nhm.sso.loggedIn, CASTGC, JSESSIONIDUsed when you log in to the main area of the Museum's website to use our Nature Plus forums, Jobs website or online shop
jive.user.loggedIn, jive.server.infoUsed when you log in to our online community, NaturePlus
datrUsed to track Facebook login status, for sharing content to Facebook.These cookies are used when a Facebook 'like' button is embedded into a page
twll, k, k (, pid, original_referer, _twitter_sessMultiple cookies used by Twitter services, to monitor referral links, and login status.These are used where the 'Tweet this' button or other Twitter widgets are present on the website.
PREFStores Google Search preferencesUsed across the website to support the internal search engine functionality.
jive.recentHistory.-1, jive.recentHistory.{userid}Stores browsed NaturePlus content identifiers, creates one cookie for all non-logged in users and individual cookies for logged in usersUsed within the NaturePlus section
JSESSIONIDStores basket and login information to enable effective online transactionsUsed within the Shop section
BROWSERSESSION, Coyote-2-d04dd0adStores basket and login information to enable effective online transactionsUsed within the Prints on Demand section
NaturalHistoryMuseum, cookieaddposition, cookieconfirmpopup, cookieshowfixed, cookielbcart, cookielbfixedoptions, cookieminmax, lastsearchUsed to store information relating to items in the basket or lightbox, recent searches, and login informationUsed within the Picture Library section
.ASPXFORMSAUTH, ASP.NET_SessionIdSession cookies that are used to manage logged in usersUsed within our recruitment portal
wpy.voteUsed to record a user vote for a competition entry for the Wildlife Photographer of the year competitionFound within the Wildlife Photographer of the Year section
Activityino2, targetinginfo, u2Used to assess the effectiveness of our digital marketing, and to ensure we do not expose you to the same advert multiple times. The cookie does not capture personal or sensitive information.Found within the Wildlife Photographer of the Year section Persistent for four months.
Archive.Catalog.SearchStores search history for library catalogueOnly used within the library section at
site-versionRecords user selection of viewing device preference (mobile or desktop)Used across the website when a user chooses to view in either 'desktop' or 'mobile' mode.
nhm_cookie_acceptRecords user acceptance of cookie noticeUsed across the website to control the cookie notification banner
CACHED_FRONT_FORM_KEY, CART, CATEGORY_INFO, LAST_CATEGORY, PHPSESSID, VIEWED_PRODUCT_IDS, adminhtml, frontendRecords user preferences and online experience for online shopUsed on the online shop site
_stid, _uset_uset records when you receive a cookie from our Share This tool, and _stid associates users with topics of interest to help advertisers deliver targeted messages_stid is only currently used in the United States and not within the European Union

Cookies on social media websites and partner sites 

The Museum has a presence on websites such as YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, who use their own cookies. 

We also host content on other domains, including partner websites and other affiliated sites.

We are monitoring how cookies used on these sites affect user privacy, but we recommend that you check individual websites for more information.

Opting out of receiving cookies

You can decline cookies by modifying the privacy settings in your web browser. However, if you do this you may not be able to use all the interactive features of our website or other sites. 

Find out all about cookies and how to disable them by visiting

Last updated: 9 January 2015

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The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5000