Cookies - The Courtauld Institute of Art


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What are cookies?

To make this site simpler, we sometimes place small data files on your computer while you browse. These are known as cookies. Most big websites do this too.

Why use cookies?

Cookies improve things by:

  • measuring how you use the website so we can make sure it meets your needs
  • remembering settings, so you don’t have to keep re-entering them whenever you visit a new page
  • tracking the effectiveness of our content

Our cookies aren’t used to identify you personally. They’re just here to make the site work better for you. Indeed, you can manage and/or delete these small files as you wish.

To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit Or please read on to find out more about how and where we use cookies.

How we use cookies

Measuring website usage

We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use this site. We do this to make sure it’s meeting its users’ needs and to understand how we could do it better.

The cookies collect information such as the number of visitors to the site, which pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got here and what you click on. We do not collect or store your personal information (eg your name or address) so this information cannot be used to identify who you are. We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data.

The following cookies are placed on your computer by Google Analytics:

 Cookie  ID  Typical  content  Expires  Type  What it does
 _utma  Randomly  generated  number  After 2 years  First  party  Keeps track of the number of times you visit the  site, when your first and last visit occurred
 _utmb  Randomly  generated  number  After 30 minutes  First  party  Records the time you arrive at the site
 _utmc  Randomly  generated  number  As soon as you  close your  browser  window  First  party  Records the time you leave the site
 _utmz  Randomly  generated  number  After 6 months  First  party  Tracks which site you came from, which search  engine you used, which link you clicked, which  keyword you used, and where in the world you  are

For more information about Google Analytics visit Google Analytics website.

Measuring visitor interaction with our website, and receiving visitor feedback

We use the HotJar platform to ‘heatmap’ which areas of our web pages are most useful and popular to our visitors, and to seek feedback from visitors so that we can best ensure we’re providing for their needs.

The following cookies may be placed on your computer depending on how you interact with our website (see ‘Description’). Read more about how HotJar use cookies.

Name Description Duration
_hjClosedSurveyInvites Hotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor interacts with a Survey invitation modal popup. It is used to ensure that the same invite does not re-appear if it has already been shown. 365 days
_hjDonePolls Hotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor completes a poll using the Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the same poll does not re-appear if it has already been filled in. 365 days
_hjMinimizedPolls Hotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor minimizes a Feedback Poll widget. It is used to ensure that the widget stays minimizes when the visitor navigates through your site. 365 days
_hjDoneTestersWidgets Hotjar cookie. This cookie is set once a visitor submits their information in the Recruit User Testers widget. It is used to ensure that the same form does not re-appear if it has already been filled in. 365 days
_hjIncludedInSample Hotjar cookie. This session cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that visitor is included in the sample which is used to generate funnels. 365 days
_hjShownFeedbackMessage This cookie is set when a visitor minimizes or completes Incoming Feedback. This is done so that the Incoming Feedback will load as minimized immediately if they navigate to another page where it is set to show. 365 days
_hjid Hotjar cookie. This cookie is set when the customer first lands on a page with the Hotjar script. It is used to persist the Hotjar User ID, unique to that site on the browser. This ensures that behavior in subsequent visits to the same site will be attributed to the same user ID. 365 days
_hjRecordingLastActivity This should be found in sessionStorage (as opposed to cookies). This gets updated when a visitor recording starts and when data is sent through the WebSocket (the visitor performs an action that Hotjar records). Session
hjTLDTest When the Hotjar script executes we try to determine the most generic cookie path we should use, instead of the page hostname. This is done so that cookies can be shared across subdomains (where applicable). To determine this, we try to store the _hjTLDTest cookie for different URL substring alternatives until it fails. After this check, the cookie is removed. Session
_hjUserAttributesHash User Attributes sent through the Hotjar Identify API are cached for the duration of the session in order to know when an attribute has changed and needs to be updated. Session
_hjCachedUserAttributes This cookie stores User Attributes which are sent through the Hotjar Identify API, whenever the user is not in the sample. These attributes will only be saved if the user interacts with a Hotjar Feedback tool. Session
_hjLocalStorageTest This cookie is used to check if the Hotjar Tracking Script can use local storage. If it can, a value of 1 is set in this cookie. The data stored in_hjLocalStorageTest has no expiration time, but it is deleted immediately after creating it so the expected storage time is under 100ms. N/A
_hjptid This cookie is set for logged in users of Hotjar, who have Admin Team Member permissions. It is used during pricing experiments to show the Admin consistent pricing across the site. Session
_hjAbsoluteSessionInProgress The cookie is set so Hotjar can track the beginning of the user’s journey for a total session count. It does not contain any identifiable information. 30 minutes

Tracking Social Sharing

The AddThis service allows you to share a webpage with social sites such as Twitter and Facebook, save it to your browser bookmarks, or send it to a friend via email.

AddThis places cookies on your machine to track the usage of their service, so we can see how people are using and sharing our content. It is the world’s largest content sharing platform and is used by many sites.

AddThis is owned and operated by Clearspring Technologies, who offer an opt-out service should you wish them to stop collecting non-personally identifiable information about you.

The following cookies are placed on your computer by AddThis:

 Cookie  ID  Typical  content  Expires  Type  What it does
 di  Randomly generated  number  After 2 years  Third  party  Determines expiration of other  cookies
 dt  Randomly generated  number  After 2 years  Third  party  Determines expiration of other  cookies
 loc  Country code and  randomly generated  letters and numbers  After 30 days  Third  party  Identifies your rough location
 psc  Randomly generated  number  After 2 years  Third  party  Counts number of views of this  page
 ssc  Randomly generated  number  As soon as you  close your browser  window  Third  party  Records the time you leave the  site
 ssh/sshs  Your preferences  After 2 years  Third  party  Configures your preferences according to changes to settings you make
 uid  Randomly generated  letters and numbers  After 30 days  Third  party  Tracks an anonymised user ID  and log-in time
 uvc  Randomly generated  letters and numbers  Expires  Third  party  Tracks usage of the social  sharing buttons at the bottom  of each page

Leaving Comments

We use the WordPress blogging platform for our Gallery blog. You can leave comments about the posts we write, and when you do, WordPress stores some information so you don’t have to write them all out again.

The following cookies are placed on your machine to allow you to leave comments:

 Cookie ID  Cookie  name  Typical  content  Expires  Type  What it does
 comment_author  Wordpress  User  name  entered  A little  under 1  year  First  party  Remembers your name so  you don’t have to re-type it  when you leave another  comment
 comment_author_email  Wordpress  Email  address  entered  A little  under 1  year  First  party  Remembers your email  address so you don’t have  to re-type it when you leave  another comment
 comment_author_url  Wordpress  Website  URL  entered  A little  under 1  year  First  party  Remembers your website  URL so you don’t have to  re- type it when you leave  another comment
 wordpress_test_cookie  Wordpress  WP+Cookie
 As soon  as you  close  your  browser  window  First  party  Determines whether you  have cookies enabled or not
 wordpress_logged_in  Wordpress  Y or N  A little  under 1  year  First  party  Determines whether you are  logged in or not

Logging in – Courtauld Staff and Students only

The intranet and some pages on the VLE are not publicly viewable, and can only be used by current Courtauld staff and students. As such they require a log-in, which is stored using a cookie on your machine.

The following cookies are placed on your machine to allow you to log-in:

 Cookie ID  Cookie  name  Typical  content  Expires  Type  What it does
 MOODLEID_  Moodle  Sign-in  User name  After 2  months  First  party  Remembers your VLE username in  the browser

Other third-party cookies

If you already use social media platforms, they might set cookies on your machine as you use our website. Data can then be collected by these companies that enables them to serve up adverts on other sites that they think are relevent to your interests.

Twitter Cookies: ab_sess_search_relevance_ranked_hits_189, dnt, t1, auth_token_session, secure_session, twll, twid, ab_sess_wtf_user_to_user_rec_155, ab_sess_search_relevance_social_167, ab_sess_t1_actions_156, _twitter_sess, _twitter_sess, ab_sess_activity_ddg_126, ab_sess_activity_up_top_98, ab_sess_promoted_arrows_and_pills_78, ab_sess_Relevance_V1-49, _sm_au_d, auth_token, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, pid

Facebook Cookies: lu, L, L, datr, e, c_user, c_user, presence, sct, sct, _sm_au_d, act, _e_bWDI_21, _e_bWDI_22, _e_bWDI_23, _e_bWDI_24, _e_CTMK_0, _e_CTMK_1, _e_CTMK_2, _e_e6Yv_0, _e_e6Yv_1, _e_e6Yv_2, _e_0ITr_10, wd, x-referer, xs, xs, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref

Google Cookies: PP_TOS_ACK, IGTP, NID, ULS, OTZ, APISID, SAPISID, SSID, _sm_au_d, S, S_awfe, SID, SS, W6D, BEAT, HSID, PREF?

Microsoft Cookies: MC1, WT_FPC

Contacting us

If you have any questions or concerns about our use of cookies or our privacy policy, please e-mail us at

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