The Ashmolean Museum lends widely to public exhibitions within the UK and internationally each year. All loans are administered by the Registrars Department.
A formal written request is required in advance of the exhibition, with a minimum of 12 months' notice for UK loans and 18 months for international loans.
Requesting institutions should make a full case for the importance and relevance of their exhibition and why the requested objects are sought. Facilities reports with details of security, environmental conditions and display proposals for the loan should be submitted with the application (see our Procedures for Outward Loans document below).
Loan requests are subject to a formal assessment procedure. Applications are reviewed by the Director, curatorial and conservation staff. All requests are then put to the board of the Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum (trustees) for approval. The Visitors meet five times a year, generally in February, April, July, October and November. Curatorial staff are always happy to advise about the selection and general availability of objects for loan.
Requests for a large number of objects should ideally be discussed with our curatorial staff prior to sending the official loan request and we recommend making a visit to the Museum to view and discuss the objects under consideration. Please notice we apply a cap of seven objects within each loan and restrictions on the availability of some type of objects (such as pastels, paintings on copper, ivories and panel paintings).
Agreed loans are subject to the terms and conditions outlined in our Loan Agreement. No object can be loaned which is in a fragile, poor or unstable condition making it unsuitable for handling, display or transport, or which could deteriorate through changes of temperature or relative humidity.
Please refer to our Procedures for Outward Loan document, which explains how to apply to borrow objects from our collection and outlines the standard procedures plus conditions which a borrower will be expected to meet for the loan to proceed.