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. Details of these collections appear elsewhere under 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). Institutions borrowing items from the collections must be able to demonstrate that they can meet national standards for the care and stewardship of the loaned items. 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.

Applying for a loan for exhibitions

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Requests for loans for exhibitions normally require a minimum of six month's notice, and hsould be made in writing to the Director General. The letter should state why the loan is required, where it will be displayed, when the loan is required to commence, and for how long. Any particular issues, especially if the loan is for a touring exhibition, should be noted, including the location of all potential venues and accounting for any periods of storage between venues.

The relevant curator and the Museum Registrar will consider the loan request, and advise the Head of Department, particularly taking into account the suitability for loan of the object or item in terms of its conservation state. (If the item's condition is likely to influence the final decision, an alternative item will be offered, if available). They will also advise on any special handling or transport requirements or display constraints, so that a full estimate of charges for the loan can be made. We will also seek an assessment of the lending institution's security standards from the Arts Council for England's Museum Security Advisor. Staff will independently ask for clarification of environmental conditions, display cases etc. through issue of Facilities Report forms. The Museum will assist lending institutions in finding potential solutions to any difficulties identified.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales makes a charge for each item (or associated group of items, e.g. a coin hoard) borrowed for exhibition at a non-Welsh museum or gallery. All prospective borrowers will be advised of the full charges for their loan application early in the loan application process.

Details of our charges can be found on the Loan Charges page

Applying for a loan for research or other purpose

Procedures for applying for a loan for purposes other than exhibition, in particular for research, are generally less onerous, especially in terms of lead-in times. Borrowers are asked to contact the relevant department to discuss requirements. Research workers borrowing from us for the first time will, in the first instance, be asked to complete a Loan Application Form, available from the relevant department. Subsequent requests may not require completion of this form.

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Requests for loans will be considered by the relevant Head of Department and specialist curatorial staff, who will consider and advise on any conditions of loan, for example in relation to sampling.

We will endeavour to keep all costs related to research loans to a minimum.