Placeography:Privacy policy

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The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) collects certain information from users, and we would like to explain the types of information we gather and what we do with it. We do not sell any personal information to third parties.



A form of anonymous web site user information that we are collecting is called a "cookie". A cookie is a small text file of information that our web server stores on your computer to distinguish your visit to our site from the hundreds or thousands who may be visiting our site at the same time. This cookie is only active while you are visiting our site and is not being used for marketing purposes, or for any reason that may compromise your privacy. For instance, the Death Certificate Index uses cookies primarily for two reasons. One occurs during page or record navigation and helps make sure that each user is sent the correct page of information that they are currently requesting. The other purpose is during certificate selection. This is a shopping-cart-like function that allows users to select and store one or more certificates for use in reporting or ordering at a later time during their visit. In addition to being anonymous, the cookies are set to expire after one hour.

Cookies are also used to let us know if a user is logged on to one of our sites. As stated above, the cookies are set to expire after a certain time period or when the user logs out.

A cookie is:

  • A small identifier created by our web server,
  • transferred to your computer,
  • stored for a short time (appx. 7 days),
  • distinguishes your visit from others visiting our site at the same time,
  • not used for marketing purposes,
  • or for any reason that may compromise your privacy.

If I choose not to accept cookies:

If you are adding items to your shopping cart without accepting cookies, your items will be lost on your return visit. To prevent this, make sure you are logged in while collecting items. Or, you may bookmark your basket of items, making sure that you see your identifying information contained in the web site address (it will look something like "CFID=3245&CFTOKEN=10e6640-2583df72-5caa-4229-a3df-4ad26db4be39"). To avoid having to be concerned with this, we recommend that you accept cookies when visiting our sites.

Server log data

Our system collects server log data which may include an IP address, the type of browser and operating system used, the time of day visited, the pages viewed, and search requests. We aggregate this data and use it for statistical purposes, helping us to ascertain, for example, the amount of interest in portions of our web site, and how to improve the navigation and content of our web site.

E-mail lists

If you sign up for one of our (e-)mailing lists, we'll only send you the kinds of information you've requested. We won't share your first and last name or e-mail address with anyone outside of MHS.

Web forms or e-mail

Personally identifying information that you provide by e-mail or web forms will be used only for such purposes as are described at the point of collection (for example, on a web form), such as to send information to you, or to respond to your questions or comments.


From time to time our site requests information from users via surveys. Participation in surveys is completely voluntary, and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and address), and demographic information (such as zip code, age level). Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of this site.

Links to Other Sites

Our web site has links to many other web sites. When you go to another site, you are subject to the privacy and security policies of that site. MHS cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided there.

Children and Privacy

MHS collects limited information from children for demographic purposes.

Changes to the Privacy Policy

MHS reserves the right to change the policy on use of information collected. Any changes in policy will be noted in a revised privacy policy statement and will be posted at least 30 days prior to implementation. You may direct any privacy policy questions to

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