The University of Texas

Exhibition Loans

Guidelines for Lending Materials for Exhibition

Mission Statement

The mission of The University of Texas at Austin is to achieve excellence in the interrelated areas of undergraduate education, graduate education, research and public service.  The university contributes to the advancement of society through research, creative activity, scholarly inquiry and the development of new knowledge.  The university preserves and promotes the arts, benefits the state’s economy, serves the citizens through public programs and provides other public service.

University of Texas Libraries recognizes that its collections contribute to research and intellectual exchange, and that exhibitions are one way to reach a broader audience.  It is the policy of the University of Texas Libraries to lend material for exhibitions committed to a common educational and scholarly mission.

As steward, the University of Texas Libraries is committed to the preservation and care of its collections of record and will lend material only to institutions capable of exhibiting the items safely.  A decision to lend will depend on several factors, including the condition and value of the object, its current scholarly demand for ongoing research, and the facilities and expertise of the borrowing institution.  


Approvals Procedure

  1. A Formal Loan Request must be received by the Director at least six months prior to the shipment date of the exhibition (See the "Formal Loan Request" section below). Large or complicated loan requests will require a longer advance notice.
  2. All borrowers are required to submit the American Association of Museums Standard Facilities Report form or provide the equivalent information, which much meet the University of Texas Libraries' standards.
  3. Libraries' staff will respond to the borrower with preliminary loan information and check that the administration and preparation of the loan can be scheduled into the University of Texas Libraries' workload.
  4. The curator/librarian will check to see whether the requested works are available for loan, and if so, whether they are in good physical condition.
  5. Libraries' staff will convene an in-house assessment meeting to include curatorial and conservation staff to discuss the particulars of the loan request and to look at the materials being requested.
  6. Libraries' staff communicated with the borrower with details and costs of the loan.
  7. After approval by the borrower of costs and other particulars, Libraries' staff will have the loan approved by the Director based on curatorial and conservation recommendations, and will prepare the loan agreement forms and invoice for loan fees.
  8. Signed loan agreement must be received and loan fees must be paid prior to shipment.
  9. A certificate of insurance must be received prior to shipment.



All Formal Loan Requests must be made at least six months prior to the shipment of the loan.  Large of complicated loan requests will require a longer advance notice.  Formal Loan Requests, regardless of nature, made less than 90 days in advance of the exhibition date can not be considered.


Initial loan inquiry

Loan requests must be received at a minimum of six months in advance of desired shipment (for loans leaving the United States, a minimum of one year).  This lead-time is necessary to ensure adequate time for a condition assessment, conservation preparation and processing of the loan request.  Insufficient lead-time may be cause for refusal of the loan.


Formal loan request

A Formal Loan Request to borrow materials from the University of Texas Libraries must be made in the form of a written request.  The request for the loan must be received on formal letterhead and signed by the Director of the borrowing institution.  The prospective borrower should supply the following information:

  • Desciption of the purpose and scope of the exhibition and why the requested works are integral to the exhibiton thesis.
  • Exhibition title and the name and credentials of its curator(s).
  • approximate number of works in the exhibition.
  • Exhibition venue(s) and dates.
  • Loan dates (approximate date of shipment; approximate date of return).
  • Name, address, telephone, fax number, and email of the exhibition organizer.
  • Name, address, telephone, fax number, and email for the contact person of each venue.
  • Full description of each item requested.
  • A copy of the American Association of Museums Standard Facility Report or equivalent documentation describing the borrowing institution's exhibition program and facitilities.  For traveling exhibitions, a seperate report should be submitted for each venue on the schedule/An incomplete facilities report may delay the processing of or cause a refusal of the loan request.
  • Indication of accompanying published catalogues both in print or on the web.
  • Assurance that all costs (fees, packing, shipping, courier, insurance, etc.) will be paid by borrower in advance of shipment of loan
  • Indication, through the signature of the Agreement to Conditions for Exhibition Loans form, of the borrower's willingness to conform to the conditions set by the lender with the understanding that after further assessment, additional conditions may be required to ensure a safe and secure loan.


Initial inquiries should be made to the following individuals:


Architecture & Planning Library

General and Special Collections

Katie Pierce Meyer, Humanities Librarian for Architecture and Planning


Architecture & Planning Library

Alexander Architectural Archive

Nancy Sparrow, Curatorial Assistant for Public Services


Loan Agreement- responsibilities of the borrower

Provided the works requested are suitable for loan, Libraries staff will prepare a formal loan agreement setting out the responsibilities of the borrower in connection with the loan.  The standards that must be met are strict and meet the requirements of the University of Texas Libraries and The University of Texas Office of Risk Management, which ultimately accepts the risk of loss or damage to the collection.  The signatory on behalf of the borrower must be of appropriate institutional authority to sign the University of Texas Libraries' loan agreement.  The loan agreement may not be altered without approval of both parties.

Upon receipt of the formal loan request, Libraries staff will review the request and facility report.  The requested item(s) will be examined by a conservator and a condition assessment will be recorded.  The prospective borrower will be notified of the loan decision and any result of the appraisal that may involve additional conditions and costs.  This review process requires at least a month's time to determine a decision to loan or to suggest alternative options.  Requests of multiple items may take additional time.


Costs covered by the borrower

  • All transportation costs, including packing and crating, freight, customs charges.
  • Courier travel expenses (if required) include Business Class accommodations when accompanying loans, as well a appropriate lodging (at least 2 nights for international trips) and per diem subsistence.  Per diem guidelines for loans within the United States follow the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) guidelines as set by the U.S. General Services Administration: see for more information.  Per diem guidelines for international loans follow the M&IE guidelines as set by the U.S. Department of State: see
  • Any loan-specific conservation preparation.
  • Design-specific matting, framing, or display equipment.  In-stock frames will be used unless the borrower makes arrangements in advance to supply custom framing.
  • Insurance coverage of the loan material; a copy of the certificate of insurance must be provided prior to the loan.
  • Any photography necessary for the loan including reproduction for exhibition publications or publicity materials.  All photography will be done by University of Texas Libraries before the loan at a per image fee.  Additional information about reprographic services and fees.

An invoice will be sent for the loan fees along with the loan agreement.  Payment is due prior to the shipment; the works will not be released to the shipping company unless payment has been received.


Conditions of loan

University of Texas Libraries expects the borrowing institution to adhere to accepted professional standards at all stages of the exhibition process, including such matters as security, installation methods, and maintenance of proper environmental controls at all times.  The borrowing institution may be required to provide information pertaining to accreditation and governance, policies concerning public access to exhibitions, and compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

If the conditions outlined below cannot be maintained throughout the exhibition, the borrower must notify University of Texas Libraries promptly to discuss appropriate next steps.


Damage or loss/ Preservation standard

  • The University of Texas Libraries is to be notified immediately, followed by a full written report, including photographic documentation, if damage or loss is discovered.
  • No work may be altered, cleaned, or repaired without the written permission.
  • The work must be maintained in a building equipped to protect the work from fire, smoke, or flood damage; under 24-hour physical and/or electronic security; and protected from humidity and temperature extremes, excessive light, and from insects, vermin, dirt, or other environmental hazards.
  • Works borrowed shall be given special care at all times to insure against loss, damage, or deterioration.  The borrower will exercise the same care with respect to the work as they do in the safekeeping of their own works.  The University of Texas Libraries, certifies that the works lent are in condition to withstand the ordinary strains of handling, packing, and transportation.
  • The Libraries will provide condition notes for each of the works lent. Upon receipt and prior to return to of the works, the borrower must also make a written record of condition.
  • Light levels are restricted and determined on a case-by case basis.  Levels specific to the materials to be loaned will be noted on the Loan Agreement.
  • Relative humidity must be maintained at 50% ± 5% and temperature at 70º F ± 4º F
  • Objects must be handled only by experienced personnel and be secured from damage and theft by appropriate brackets, railings, display cases, or other responsible methods.
  • The borrower agrees to any special requirements for installation and handling stipulated by the Libraries.  Furthermore, the Libraries may require an inspection and approval of the actual installation by a member of its staff as a condition of the loan, and at the expense of the borrower.
  • The borrower will not allow the storage, serving, or consumption of food and/or beverages in the spaces where the works will be stored.


Loan duration

Loans approved for traveling exhibitions will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Paper items, when approved, are generally limited to six months total exhibition time, or less, as determined by conservation recommendation on an item-by-items basis.



  • The borrower will arrange for a specialized fine art shipper to transport the work from Austin, Texas to the borrower's venue and return.
  • If a courier is a requirement of loan, all movement of the courier and the loan must be expedited by a specialized fine arts shipper.
  • All arrangements must meet the approval of the University of Texas Libraries. Shippers and brokers may only be used with the Libraries' approval. Failure to use an approved broker or shipper may result in the cancellation of the loan.
  • The borrower will keep the crates and packing materials for return shipment, and the work will be repacked using the same protective methods and materials.
  • Packing crates will be stored under appropriate environmental conditions to ensure that the crate interiors are in equilibrium (not greater than 50% RH) prior to repacking.
  • Unless otherwise specified in writing by the Libraries, all works will be released from the collection/holding unit of The University of Texas Libraries.


Fine Arts Commercial Insurance

  • The borrower will insure the work (s) at the borrower's expense for the aggregate value stated on the Libraries' loan agreement under an all risk, "wall to wall" policy with no deductibles; subject to the standard exclusions of fine arts commercial insurance.
  • Borrowers for international venues are required to purchase insurance coverage through the underwriters of The University of Texas at Austin.
  • The University of Texas Libraries must be supplied with a certificate of insurance from a well-established carrier specializing in fine arts commercial insurance naming the University of Texas Libraries as insured under the borrower's policy prior to the shipment of the loan.  Failure to provide a certificate of insurance from an established carrier in advance of shipment will result in the cancellation of the loan.
  • The University of Texas Libraries must be notified in writing at least thirty (30) days prior to any cancellation or meaningful change in the borrower's policy.  Any lapses in coverage, any failure to secure insurance and/or inaction by the University of Texas Libraries will not release the borrower from liability for loss or damage. 


Insurance Valuations

Insurance valuations for works requested for loan will be supplied by the University of Texas Libraries after a formal loan request has been made and where requested prior to approval of the loan.  The University of Texas Libraries reserves the right to re-value any of the works at any time, to take into account changes in the market value of the works.  If necessary, an appraisal may be needed to determine a current market valuation.  This cost will be the responsibility of the borrower.


Packing and Transportation

University of Texas Libraries prepares the items going out on loan, and will require that all items be repacked for return in exactly the same manner as when they were sent to the borrower institution.  For most items, packing may need to be done by a fine arts handler engaged by the borrower.  Any changes in repacking should be discussed in advance between borrower and lender.

University of Texas Libraries will specify how the material is to be transported and will ask the borrower to make appropriate transportation arrangements.  An approved fine art mover is usually required for transport of University of Texas Libraries property.  Full details of transportation should be discussed as early in the procedure as possible.  In some instances, University of Texas Libraries may require that items be accompanied to and from loan site by a courier.  The courier's presence will be required at all times during the transport, unpacking, installation, de-installation, and repacking of the borrowed material.



It is the policy of the University of Texas Libraries to consider requiring a courier to accompany a shipment when the value of the shipment is high and/or the works are of a fragile or unique nature and/or the works require specialized handling or mounting.  International loans generally require a courier.


Condition examination and installation/de-installation

When the material is received, the borrower should inspect it upon unpacking, compare it with the condition report provided by the Libraries, and record its condition. Any damage or discrepancies must be reported immediately by telephone and subsequently in writing to the Libraries.  The inspection and condition reporting process should be repeated at each venue for traveling exhibitions.

  • The borrower agrees that upon arrival at its venue, the works will remain in their crates and be allowed to acclimatize for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • The borrower agrees that the works will be examined only in the presence of the Libraries' courier (where required), or the borrower's registration or conservation staff, using the condition report (s) provided by the Libraries.
  • The borrower agrees that only experienced art-handling/preparation staff will install the works.  Installation will only take place under the supervisions of the Libraries' courier (where required), or the borrower's registration or conservation staff.  If the borrower employs a commercial packing firm, the borrower's trained registration, conservation, or curatorial staff must supervise that firm's employees.
  • The borrower agrees that installation will not take place while areas of the exhibition spaces are under construction. Prior to installation of the works, seventy two hours must be allowed to pass after any painting (e.g. walls, cases) or rug shampooing in the exhibition area has taken place to ensure that hazardous fumes do not affect the works.
  • The Libraries' works are shipped "wall or case ready" for mounting and display.  The method of preparing materials for exhibition will be determined by Libraries staff and outlined for the borrower prior to final loan approval.
  • The borrower agrees that only experienced art-handling/preparation staff will de-install the works.
  • As a requirement of the loan, works should only be de-installed, condition checked, and packed in the presence of the Libraries' courier (where required), or the borrower's registration or conservation staff.


Cancellation of loans and Right of recall

The University of Texas Libraries recognizes that a borrower may cancel a loan, or other circumstances may prevent the shipment and exhibition from taking place as planned.  Once remitted, loan related fees are non-refundable regardless of circumstance.

The University of Texas Libraries reserves the right to recall an item at any time if the terms of the loan are not met for the duration loan period.


Reproduction and credit

  • Permission for reproduction, including electronic formats, must be obtained in writing from the Libraries.  Permission must also be obtained from the copyright holder, if any.  No other reproduction of works lent can be made without written permission from the University of Texas Libraries and the copyright holder.
  • In order to assure safe accurate reproduction of University of Texas Libraries property, the Libraries will prepare digital images of the works lent.  These images may be used by the borrower for exhibition catalogs, routine non-commercial educational uses, and publicity and are subject to the Libraries' usual publication policies and fees.
  • As owner of unique and valuable cultural artifacts, University of Texas Libraries requires that surrogates of these objects - reproduce the qualitites of the original items as accurately as possible.  Reproductions of items may not be altered by cropping, colorizing, reversing, bleeding, overprinting, digital editing, or any other method without prior permissions.
  • Items must appear as an illustration to text.  Any decorative use of the image - as background, endpapers, or other uses - requires the express written consent of the Libraries.
  • Each work must be labeled and credited to the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas of Austin in the exact format provided on the loan agreement, both for display labels and publication credits.
  • The borrower is required to provide two copies of the exhibition catalogue and any exhibit related print materials to the Registrar.
  • For specific digitization and publication use questions, please visit Policies and Forms.


International loans

Loans to countries outside the United States will require the assistance of a reputable customs broker who should be contacted well in advance of the loan arrival date.  Customs formalities and the provision of export licenses to and from the exhibition site, are the responsibility of the borrower.  Objects should not be unpacked in transit for customs inspection, but passed through in bond to the exhibition site.  It is the international borrower's responsibility to meet any courier upon arrival, to have a customs broker on hand, and to escort the courier and the loaned items to and from the exhibition site.  Overseas loans must be transported by air.



The University of Texas Libraries assumes no responsibility for delays in shipping of the loan works to borrower caused by circumstances beyond its control, including, but not limited to incomplete payment, absence of required documents, extreme weather conditions, terrorist attacks, or labor disputes.



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101 East 21st St.
Austin, TX. 78713

Phone: (512) 495-4250

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