Loaning material in or out of your collection
From Our Toolkit
Loaning material in or out of your organisation can be a rewarding procedure. It can be a great way for your material to reach new audiences and for it to be displayed or researched in a way that can bring new meaning and understanding. Whether you are the lender or the borrower any loans procedure needs to be considered and controlled.
When loaning material into of your collection the Spectrum guidelines suggest that you consider the following questions?
- Why might you borrow objects?
- What legal and ethical issues will you consider before borrowing objects?
- What is the minimum and maximum length of a loan period?
- Who can authorise loan agreements for you to borrow objects?
- What steps will you take to check the provenance of potential loans?
- How will you deal with borrowed objects if the original lender can no longer be contacted?
It is recommended that you write a policy which records how you loan items into your collection. The full process for loans in is outlined in the Spectrum guidelines.
When loaning material out of your collections the Spectrum guidelines suggest that you consider the suitability of the loan request by working through the following questions:
- A reference to previous loans to a particular borrower or venue.
- Information gained from a site visit to the proposed venue.
- Consulting the relevant regional agency or the National Security Adviser.
- Assurance that the object will be adequately covered in the event of damage or loss.
- Necessary schedule to meet the loan.
- Costs (eg of conservation work).
- Specific requirements relating to the objects requested (eg couriers required).
- Security considerations.
- Environmental considerations.
- Use to be made of collections (eg working objects).
It is recommended that you write a policy which records how you lend items out of your collection. The full process for loans out is outlined in the Spectrum guidelines.
The Museums Association’s Effective Collections – Simple Loans Administration document provides detailed information on loan procedures including the UKRG Facilities Report and Government Indemnity Scheme. It also includes sample loan agreements which you can adapt for your organisation.