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Using the Archives: Loans

Information on how to access and use archive collections

Loan Policy

1.        Purpose
The Newsam Library and Archives welcomes requests to loan material in our holdings, both within the UCL IOE, and elsewhere. This Policy will set out our Exhibition Loans process in order to ensure the safety and integrity of library special collection and archive objects when they are loaned and exhibited outside the Library and Archives premises. Encouraging the loan of items can;

·         Increase awareness of our collections, nationally and internationally

·         Widen access to the collections

·         Support academic research

·         Support teaching and learning at all levels

2.        Scope
This Policy will cover the entire loan process of all archival material, and library special collections only, referred to as objects throughout this document.

3.        Responsibilities        
The Policy remains a working document; it will be reviewed and revised as necessary by Archive and Library staff and will be reviewed in line with the Institutional five-year strategic planning cycle with the next formal revision in 2017.

4.        Policy Document

4.1 Borrowers
We anticipate the following as potential borrowers, however requests may come from other types of organisations;

·         Educational organisations

·         Museums, galleries and libraries

·         Institutions with whom we have reciprocal/partnership agreements

·         Public and charitable bodies

IOE Archives will not usually lend to

  • Film and television or      media companies, including theatrical productions
  • Private exhibitions
  • Commercial exhibitions
  • Individuals

4.2 Duration of loan
We will only usually loan objects for a maximum of six months. IOE Library and Archives reserves the right to terminate the loan if it deems that the objects lent are deteriorating in any way, or are at risk of damage or theft, or if the borrower otherwise fails to comply with the conditions of the loan in accordance with the terms of the Exhibition Loan Agreement.

4.3 Procedure for loan request
Please note that for all loan requests, we would expect the preliminary research, identification and selection of the object(s) to be undertaken by the borrower or representatives working on their behalf. To locate material the borrower will need to consult the archive or library catalogue, and contact the archive team for further information ( In most cases viewing of the item/s by the borrower or their representatives will be necessary.

Formal requests for the loan of specific objects from our collections should be addressed to the first instance. They should contain the following information, for which a form version is available;

  • Reason for loan (e.g. exhibition) and reasons for inclusion of      selected object(s)
  • Exhibition venue(s) and dates
  • Name and full contact details of borrower(s)
  • List of object(s) requested with full IOE reference numbers (including page opening where relevant)
  • An undertaking to meet all direct costs arising from the loan (see Costs, section, Appendix A)
  • A completed and up-to-date Facilities Report for each venue. We normally ask that venues within the UK to complete the UK Registrars’ Group Standard Facilities Report, Display Case Supplement and Security Supplement. For international loans we would require the appropriate national equivalent.

4.4 Notice period/lead time
Requests should be made as early as possible, but with a minimum of 6 months notice for UK loans and nine months for international loans. This lead-in allows sufficient time for the request to be fully considered, any necessary valuations, conservation treatment and preparation to be carried out, security and environmental conditions at the loan venue to be assessed, as well as accommodating other loan commitments.

 4.5 Consideration and contract
Loan requests will be carefully considered. Decisions will be communicated to the applicant as quickly as possible.
If an application is successful, the borrower will be required to meet our General Conditions of Exhibition Loan, Appendix A. The loan will also be contingent upon the borrower satisfying any special conditions specified by the IOE. These conditions will form the Exhibition Loan Agreement, a contract drawn up by the IOE Library and Archives and agreed by the borrower.
Two copies of the Exhibition Loan Agreement will be issued to the borrower, who will be asked to sign both copies and return to the IOE archives who will then send a signed copy to the borrower for their records.

4.6 Refusals
Occasionally we may find it necessary to refuse a loan request, for example:

  • Where there is insufficient time to consider and prepare the loan, (notice periods are set out in the Notices Section)
  • Where suitable environmental conditions and/or security cannot be provided
  • Where other conditions (see General Conditions of Exhibition Loan, section 9) cannot be met by the borrower
  • Where the requested item(s) is fragile, in a poor or unstable condition, or at excessive risk from damage from handling or during transit
  • Where the timescale required for sufficient conservation exceeds that of the notice period/lead time
  • Where the item is required for display at the IOE, or if an agreement to loan the object(s) has already been agreed with another institution
  • Where the item is required for teaching, learning or other activities during the proposed period of the loan, e.g. digitisation
  • Where its absence would be especially detrimental to researchers at the IOE
  • Where the request is incompatible with the stated objectives/mission of the IOE

We will provide a full explanation for any refusal. We can advise on suitable equipment to aid borrowers where environmental and display issues are the reason for their refusal.

5.        Document Owner and Approval
The Library Management Team (LMT) is the owner of this document and is responsible for ensuring that this procedure is reviewed in line with the review requirements of the IOE’s business standards

This policy was approved by the Library Management Team on 15/01/2014 and is issued on a version controlled basis under his/her signature.

Loan Out request form and contract are available on request, email


Appendix A
General conditions of exhibition loan

1 Due diligence & ethical parameters for exhibition loans
Before agreeing to any loan, the IOE requires a declaration (in writing) from the borrower that it has no reasonable cause to believe that any object in the exhibition in which the loaned object(s) shall be displayed has been stolen, illegally exported or illegally imported from its country of origin, as defined in the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Importing, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, 1970.

2 Costs
We have limited resources and require borrowers to meet all the costs incurred both by themselves and by the IOE in making the loan, without limit. These may include;

·         producing condition reports

·         photography

·         any necessary conservation and repair work

·         independent valuation

·         insurance or minimum liability

·         framing, glazing or mounting of flat items

·         manufacture of cradles or mounts for books

·         packing, transport, travel expenses and subsistence of couriers where these are required.

Where costs are incurred as the result of the loan, the IOE will prepare an estimate of all our projected costs and send this to the borrower at the time the loan is approved.

3 Insurance
All objects lent by the IOE must be fully covered either by a government indemnity where applicable, or by commercial insurance. In the case of commercial insurance, objects must be insured against ‘all risks’ and on a ‘nail-to-nail’ basis. Proof of cover, including copies of relevant insurance certificates or indemnities must be deposited with the IOE at least four weeks before the objects are to be collected. Objects cannot be released without proof of adequate insurance or indemnity.
Any cost of obtaining any valuation of the object which is required for the purposes of insurance shall be met by the borrower.

4 Condition report & conservation requirements
For all objects to be loaned out, IOE staff (or an approved conservator) will prepare a condition report, to be agreed with the borrower prior to the collection date. The cost of preparing the condition report shall be met by the borrower. This may include in-house photography of the items, where images do not already exist.[1]
If, in the IOE’s opinion, any conservation work is required to the object prior to its departure, it will be a condition of the loan that the necessary repair and conservation work is first carried out. The costs of any such work shall be met by the borrower.
The condition of the object will be checked against the condition report prior to or on the return date, and the parties shall agree any differences, if any, in the condition of the object from the description in the condition report.

5 Packing, collection and transport
IOE requires at least two months written notice of the intended date for the collection of the object(s), taken from the ‘Commencement Date’ of the Exhibition Loan Agreement (i.e. the date on which IOE returns to the borrower a copy of the agreement duly signed by both parties).

All packing, collection, transport and delivery arrangements must be approved by the IOE before the object will be released on loan. Packing will be carried out either by IOE archive staff or by fine art handlers approved by IOE staff. Only agents approved by IOE archives will undertake transportation of the object.

All costs incurred in respect of packing and transportation shall be met by the borrower.

The IOE archives reserves the right to require and appoint a member of archive staff to act as a courier to supervise all handling, transportation and installation of the loan object during the loan period. When this role is required for a loan, the borrower will be expected to pay for their travel, accommodation and subsistence. However, we recognize that such costs can be significant to the borrowing institution and will work with you to try and keep these down. We will make these decisions on a case by case basis.

6 Security
Exhibition premises must be safe and secure in all respects and adequate safeguards put in place before any objects are released on loan. IOE requires all borrowers to provide details of the facilities and security of their venues by completing the UK Registrars’ Group Standard Facilities Report and the UK Registrars’ Group Security Supplement, or national equivalent to satisfy this requirement.

Objects should be exhibited in locked showcases, or secure frames. The use of approved fittings and security screws may be stipulated to affix frames to walls. Alarmed showcases are required for the display of valuable and delicate objects.

Where the IOE judges security of the host organisation to be insufficient, twenty-four hour invigilation may be required, although intruder-detector alarm systems during closed hours may be considered acceptable under certain circumstances.

7 Environmental conditions
The specific environmental requirements of each object will be specified in the Exhibition Loan Agreement. Our normal requirements for archival documents and rare books follow British Standard 5454:2000 (under revision as PD 5454), Recommendations for the Storage and Exhibition of Archival Documents, i.e.:

  • Light levels at a maximum of 50 lux
  • Temperature of 16-19°C
  • Relative humidity 40-60%

Different conditions may be appropriate for the storage and display of artefacts, and the capacity of different institutions to offer these conditions will vary. We will therefore treat each application on a case by case basis and work with you to find the best way of ensuring suitable conditions for display.

Smoking, eating and drinking must not be permitted in the display area and adjacent areas, not only during exhibition itself but while the display is being mounted and when the exhibition is being dismantled.

8 Display

Works on paper and manuscripts will require suitable cradles, mounts or supports. Where suitable ones do not already exist these can be made and provided by IOE at the expense of the borrower. We will run all costs for this past the borrower for approval first, and then send an invoice.

After they have been placed in the display case for exhibition, object(s) must be left undisturbed, except in the case of an emergency, until the display is dismantled.

No mark in pencil, ink, paint or any other material may be made on any object(s), nor may any existing mark or label be removed. No adhesives of any kind may be applied to object(s). Labels must not be affixed to the objects.

9 Photography and reproduction

The object(s) may not be filmed, photographed, video recorded, televised or otherwise recorded or reproduced during the loan period without the prior written permission of IOE. In the event the borrower wishes to reproduce images of the object(s) for any purpose it shall submit to IOE a separate application for Permission to Publish (form supplied on request), and pay the necessary reproduction charges in advance. The borrower will be responsible for obtaining any copyright clearances the IOE archives deem to be necessary. Application forms and a full list of charges are available upon request from IOE. IOE shall be under no obligation to grant such permission.

10 Acknowledgement

IOE ownership must at all times during the exhibition be credited on any relevant label, text or image in respect of the object(s), with the full IOE reference. This extends to the use of the object (or images of it) in any publication or media coverage arising from the loan (subject to permission to publish being sought, section 9.9).

11 Termination
If the loan is cancelled, for whatever reason, all reasonable costs will be borne by the borrower.

[1] The preparation of a condition report produced in house will be calculated at an hourly rate based on a fee of £222 per day

Subject Guide