The Ashmolean Museum is justly proud of its longstanding support of cultural institutions in the UK and across the globe, through the lending of its collections, and gratefully acknowledges the support from those institutions in return.

Pressures on resources, exacerbated by the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, have however necessitated a review of all the Ashmolean’s activities which has resulted in changes to the Museum’s policy on lending its collections. 

Because of the impact of Covid, the loans programme for 2022 is already at capacity.  Reluctantly, therefore, with immediate effect, there is a moratorium on all new loan requests for exhibitions beginning in the calendar year 2022. This will not affect existing agreements. 

After 2022 we will resume our loans programme but, for the foreseeable future, we will not be able to lend to the extent, or with the flexibility we have in the past.

The Ashmolean must rigorously apply loan application deadlines, namely a 12 month notice period for loans within the UK and an 18 month notice period for international loans.  In addition there will be a cap of seven objects within each loan and restrictions on the availability of some types of object. 

The Ashmolean is taking these steps in order to continue to provide effective and equitable support for our cultural partners in a way that is responsible and sustainable.  We thank you for your understanding.


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; 12 months 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 useful documents 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.

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. 


12 months for UK loans and 18 months for international


Request for long loans from the collection (more than one year) will be considered from galleries and museums where there is a clear purpose or context for the loan, particularly when it will complement the borrower’s collection. They are subject to the same process outlined above.

  • Long-term loan proceedure
  • Terms and conditions


Aisha Burtenshaw, Registrar 
Tel: +44 (0)1865 288074

Christina Gernon, Collections Registrar  
Tel: +44 (0)1865 288197

Hannah Manson, Touring Exhibitions Registrar 
Tel: +44 (0)1865 288104

Ilenia Scerra, Assistant Registrar
Tel: +44 (0)1865 288105