Borrowing for exhibition guidelines

The University of Melbourne Archives (UMA) supports loans from its collections so as to enrich teaching and learning within the University as well as increased access to the wider public.

The benefits of UMA's loan program is balanced with UMA's existing responsibilities in managing our extensive holdings, our ongoing efforts to improve collection access, as well as ensuring the safeguarding and preservation of our collection for the long term.

The resources required to assess, prepare and manage loans are considerable, so the potential borrower must plan their timelines well in advance. These procedures outline the steps for borrowing collection materials from the University of Melbourne Archives and establishes the conditions that the potential borrower must meet in order to receive loan approval.


Potential borrowers are encouraged to conduct research on UMA's collections by searching the online catalogue; contacting our reference services for more complex enquires; and requesting material for viewing in the reading room. All details about this process can be found at

During this research phase, it is important to accurately record details: Collection Name; Collection Reference Numbers; Item titles; Box/Unit numbers; Folder numbers, and any dates that identify items.


For it to be considered, this application must be received at least four (4) months prior to the proposed commencement date of the loan. Six (6) months lead in time is preferable.


The number of competing loan requests at a given time, and the number of items requested, may inform the number of items UMA is able to loan.


  1. Potential borrowers must fill in a formal loan request Request for loan of the University of Melbourne Archives Collections. Typing in this word document is our preferred method. It is the responsibility of the potential borrower to provide correct citations, full details relating to dates and location(s) of the proposed exhibition, as well as forwarding a current Facilities Report. If your organisation does not yet have a Facilities Report, you can fill in UMA's pro forma Facilities Report. Email this application directly to Stella Marr:
  2. The receipt of your request will be acknowledged by email.
  3. Analysis of the request will commence – including the items requested, format, medium, length of time requested for display, environmental conditions promised by the borrower, the condition of item (does it require conservation, is it fit to travel). A holistic consideration is made based on the timeframe given, the quantity of items requests and other loans that UMA is processing within that same period.
  4. Approval is sought from the University Archivist, the outcome communicated to the potential borrower.
  5. If the loan is approved, a formal letter of request is required to be sent from the director of the borrowing institution (or unit) to: Suzanne Fairbanks - Acting University Archivist, The University of Melbourne Archives, Parkville, VIC, 3010. E-mail transmission of signed requests saved as pdf is preferred: Cc:
  6. If the loan is approved and the borrower agrees to the terms and conditions, then the process of preparing the loan begins. This includes controlling and cataloguing at item level.
  7. A Conservation Assessment is made to determine if conservation treatment is required. Conservation treatments (if required) are conducted by The Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC). UMA will organise for an assessment and treatment quote to be sought. Where costs for assessment and treatment are required, these are to be borne by borrower.
  8. Condition Reports will be written either by UMA or CCMC.
  9. Digitisation and/or photography (if required for catalogues) will only be done after conservation treatments have been complete (if required). These services will be undertaken by the University Digitisation Centre (UDC) or the University's photographer. The costs of digitisation/photography are to be borne by the borrower.
  10. Copyright will be the responsibility of the borrower through the UMA reference services. Permission to publish (print media or website) these images will need to be applied for through UMA reference services, and possibly through third parties.
  11. Valuation may be done in-house by UMA, or if necessary, a professional valuer will be engaged. Where a professional valuation is required costs are to be borne by the borrower.
  12. Insurance: a Certificate of Currency (Fine Arts/nail to nail) must be forwarded to UMA.
  13. A Loan Agreement is drawn up based on conservation recommendations, sometimes with additional conditions specific to the item, countersigned by both parties.
  14. Transport: for loans internal to the University of Melbourne, internal transport may be arranged. For external loans our preference is for International Art Services (or others art couriers by negotiation). Costs are to be borne by the borrower.
  15. Condition Reports will travel with the items, to be signed upon receipt, copies retained by Borrower and original posted back to the University of Melbourne Archives within seven (7) days.
  16. During the loan period the borrower must store, pack, handle and exhibit the items as per the details in the Loan Agreement. The Borrower shall at all times ensure that the works are treated with due care to ensure protection against loss, damage or deterioration and notify the University of Melbourne Archives immediately if any risk is identified or issue arises.
  17. Loan Fees will be calculated per the variables of each loan

Confirmed July 2015


Display & Industry Guidelines

Recommended environmental conditions for museum objects: