Loans Service

Background to lending from the collections

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales encourages items from its rich and diverse collections to be used as widely as possible, to be a source of inspiration, excitement and instruction. Click the button for details on these collections:

Curatorial & Research

We facilitate many loans each year, not only within Wales but worldwide. These range from loans to other UK national museums and other major overseas museums for touring exhibitions, through to loans to other museums across Wales.

We also provide research loans to institutions across the world, especially from the natural science collections.

Facilitating Loans

Facilitating loans is a core activity within Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, as described in the Policy on Outward Loans (available also in hardcopy on request). We are also committed to improving the facilitation of loans to non- national museums through our partnership schemes and by adopting the guidelines and standards issued by the National Museums Directors Conference in its document guidance on loan procedures between national and non- national museums.

Read the policy on Outward Loans

Borrowing items from Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. A step by step guide.

Amgueddfa Cymru’s collection belongs to everyone in Wales and we want as many people as possible to enjoy it. One of the ways we can do this is through this is by lending objects to museums galleries and communities throughout Wales so that audiences can have access to the collection on a more local level.

We also want to make sure that international galleries and museums outside Wales can borrow works for display in exciting new exhibitions.

We have reviewed the way that we manage our loans and simplified this where we can. The information below will guide you through the various stages and tell you what you need to do at each point.

1. Initial research and enquiries

If you are interested in borrowing something from us, it is a good idea to undertake some initial research before making a formal loan request.

One useful resource for planning is

2. Making a formal request

Once you have decided what you would like to borrow, you will need to send us a formal request either by letter or e-mail. The request should be addressed to the Director of Collections & Research, (Dr Kath Davies) and sent to:

Please send us your request a minimum of nine months before you need the objects. Formal requests made within six months of the date you need the objects will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

The reason we ask you to submit your request so far in advance is that it gives us plenty of time to work with you to resolve any problems or issues that may arise. We want to do everything we can to make sure that the loan can go ahead. When you make your request, please send us as much information as possible about why you want to borrow from us. We suggest that you include:

  • Title of public programme exhibition, event or activity
  • Venue(s) and key dates
  • Organiser contact details
  • An outline of the public programme topic and aims
  • List of items requested, including accession numbers if known

The Museum Registrar will acknowledge your request within ten days of us receiving it. Please note that this does not mean that your request has been agreed.

3. Considering a request

Requests for items from our archaeology, history, industry and natural science collections are considered by us as follows:

  • Loans within Wales and the UK monthly
  • International loans are considered four times a year, typically in March, June, September and December.
  • Loans from our art collection are considered twice a year, typically in June and December

We will send you a letter once our decision has been made. The letter will set out any fees and costs, and any specific requirements that apply.

4. What happens next?

We will ask you for detailed information about your building, how you look after it and any collections within (security requirements), and how you measure, record and manage temperature, relative humidity and light (environmental requirements). We will send you the UKRG Facilities Report, Security Supplement and Display Case Supplement so you can record this. We also need you to tell us how the objects you are borrowing will be insured.

Once you have sent us your information, we will review it and work with you to resolve any issues or concerns so that the loan can go ahead. In the unlikely event that we cannot sort everything out, we may need to review whether or not we can still lend you the objects.

We will discuss and agree with you how the objects will be packed, transported and installed. We will decide whether or not the object should be physically or virtually escorted by a member of our staff (a courier), and work with you to put this in place.

Finally, we will send you a loan agreement that will confirm all the arrangements. This will need to be signed by the Director of Collections & Research and a representative of the borrowing organisation before the objects leave the Museum. Once the objects leave the Museum, we will send you an invoice for the agreed fees and costs.

5. Loan fees and costs

We do not normally charge borrowers in Wales a fee as sharing the national collection with the people of Wales is part of our museum purpose. For all borrowers from outside Wales we charge a fee. We apply higher fees for loans to exhibitions where there is an admission charge for the whole institution and/or the specific exhibition. Details of our current fees can be found here: 6 Outward Loan Policy 2016RevMay21

In addition to any fee, we will ask you to meet all direct costs associated with the loan. These include but are not limited to: materials for framing, glazing and mounts; transport and insurance. Should a request to borrow be withdrawn, we will ask you to pay for any work that has been undertaken, or costs that we have incurred, at the point of cancellation.

6. Renewals

Loan agreements are issued for a maximum period of 12 months.

If you want to extend the period of borrowing, you’ll need to notify the Museum Registrar either by letter or e-mail at least one month before the end date of the agreement that is in place. We’ll contact you as soon as possible after we receive your request and let you know what we have decided. All fees and costs associated with renewals will be confirmed at the time the request is made.

We reserve the right to periodically inspect the objects on loan to ensure they are receiving appropriate care. This will be at the expense of the borrower.

7. Feedback

In order for us to be able to continually develop and improve our loan service, we will ask you to complete in a feedback form.

Useful documents

Outward loan Policy 6 Outward Loan Policy 2016RevMay21

Applying for a loan for research or other purpose

If you would like to borrow something for purposes other than exhibition or display, in particular for research, please contact the relevant department to discuss your requirements. They will discuss with you the conditions that will apply, for example in respect of sampling, and advise you of any relevant costs. Researchers borrowing from us for the first time will be asked to register as Approved Borrowers.