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Archives and Special Collections Exhibit Loan Policy and Procedures: Home

Exhibit Loan Policy and Procedures

As part of its effort to support scholarship and learning, Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections lends items from its collections for temporary exhibition. Materials are loaned to institutions that meet the conditions stated in the Ball State University Libraries Exhibit Loan Agreement form.  Items are not loaned to individuals.

Loan requests will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Physical condition of the item(s)
  • Facilities and program of the borrowing institution, including appropriate qualifications of staff
  • Anticipated need of the item(s) for Ball State University research, teaching and exhibition purposes
  • Availability of staff to process the loan request
  • Any other risks involved with loaning the item(s) identified by Archives and Special Collections   

The Archives and Special Collections does not assess a loan fee or charge for staff time associated with lending materials. Because loans must be balanced with other priorities, Archives and Special Collections is able to consider requests only for a limited number of items.

An authorized representative of the prospective borrowing institution must submit a 1) request letter and 2) a facilities report two to three months in advance of the anticipated shipping date. The request letter should include the following information:

  • Title and dates of the exhibition
  • Inclusive dates of proposed loan
  • Name(s) and affiliation of exhibition curator(s)
  • Detailed information about the item(s) to be borrowed: full citation and call number for printed materials; collection name, box and folder number for archival and manuscript materials
  • Indication of plans for a published catalog and/or Web version of the exhibition; indication of any photography or scanning needs
  • Statement of willingness to conform to the conditions of loan set by the lender

A facilities report should also be included that describes the nature of the location where the item(s) will be displayed.  This report should include:

  • The name of the institution that will be hosting the exhibit and relevant contact information.
  • The name and address of the building where the item(s) will be exhibited.
  • A description of the days and hours during which the exhibit will be regularly open.
  • A general physical description of the building where the item(s) will be exhibited, a description of the size of the exhibit space, and description of the location of the exhibit space within the building.
  • A description of security measures in place to safeguard item(s) against theft or damage. This may include descriptions of exhibit cases and locking mechanisms, intrusion detection systems, and security staffing.  
  • A description of any activities other than exhibit viewing that may take place in the exhibit space. Indicate whether food and drink are ever permitted in the exhibition area for receptions or other functions.
  • An indication of the range of temperature and relative humidity in the exhibition area and the areas for packing and storage. Describe any environmental monitoring equipment in use for the space.
  • Describe the lighting in the exhibition area. Identify the types of lighting fixtures in the exhibition and work areas. Describe measures to protect item(s) on exhibition from ultraviolet radiation deriving from natural or artificial sources in the exhibition and work areas.
  • Describe the borrowing institution’s insurance coverage and give the name of the insurer and broker.
  • Indicate that the institution will use proper, accepted, professional standards at all stages of the exhibition process
  • Include a list of other institutions that have lent items to the borrowing institution for recent exhibitions if applicable. The list should include appropriate contact information for each institution.

More information about facilities reports can be found on the Association of College and Research Libraries/Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (ACRL/RBMS) Guidelines For Interlibrary And Exhibition Loan Of Special Collections Materials webpage: 

Please send exhibit loan request materials to the Head of Archives User Engagement at Ball State University Libraries at