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  • 1.  Notice for Loan Requests

    Posted 01-26-2024 12:53 PM

    Hello All,

    I have a question regarding the notification period regarding requests to borrow objects. Our current loan agreement states, "Requests for loans must be made at least 30 days prior to the time the artifacts are to leave the Pro Football Hall of Fame to allow time for the proper shipping and other arrangements."

    I was wondering how much notice other institutions require to borrow from their collection. Do you have a firm time frame for requests such as 30, 60 or even 90 days notice? Does it depend on how many objects are requested? Is there a common time frame in the field? Our 30-day time frame has not changed in over 25 years.

    All the best, 

    Jason Aikens

    Curator of Collections

    Jason Aikens
    Collections Curator
    Pro Football Hall of Fame
    Canton OH

  • 2.  RE: Notice for Loan Requests

    Posted 01-29-2024 08:22 AM

    In museums where I worked, the policy was always for at least a 60-day lead time for loan requests. There was no proviso for requests of large numbers of objects, but as i recall, any such request was well organized and made months in advance -- I think that may have been a matter of luck. As with many of our lending policies, we could, and often did,  act with flexibility and benificence when dealing with local colleagues and other "friendly" institutions.

    Bruce MacLeish
    Curator Emeritus, Newport Restoration Foundation
    Cooperstown NY

  • 3.  RE: Notice for Loan Requests

    Posted 01-29-2024 10:53 AM

    In my experience, there was never a hard deadline for loan request lead-time, but most did tend to come to us months, if not a full year in advance.  In saying that, I think your needs boil down to how busy you are, how many requests you tend to be juggling or have the capacity to juggle at any one time, how quickly you can accomplish an outgoing condition report, the level of complication that planning for packing and crating needs will take, the complications/time needed for shipping availability from your location, and the speed at which you as well as the borrowing institution can arrange Insurance coverage.  And of course the number of items requested for one loan can make things hard, too.

    Beth Savage
    New York NY

  • 4.  RE: Notice for Loan Requests

    Posted 01-30-2024 08:29 AM

    In my experience, large museums which get a substantial number of loan requests annually, I assume, have a loan request deadline of up to a year. This includes art and history museums I have requested loans from. I think institutions that receive fewer requests can choose to be more flexible. 

    Autumn Nyiri
    Associate Curator
    Petersen Automotive Museum
    Los Angeles CA

  • 5.  RE: Notice for Loan Requests

    Posted 01-30-2024 08:09 AM

    I am chiming in because my experience is very different from what I see here. We haven't had issues of too many late requests ourselves and so have no stated policy, but I'd say the average I have encountered, dealing with art museums, is one year. And I have had a few museums refuse to consider a request because their policy is 18 months. 

    Laura Vookles
    Chair, Curatorial Department
    Hudson River Museum
    Yonkers NY

  • 6.  RE: Notice for Loan Requests

    Posted 01-30-2024 03:16 PM

    When I was on staff at Colonial Williamsburg, the minimum lead time for loans was 6 months; it may be longer now. This was to allow time for conservators to examine the requested object to determine whether it was in condition to travel and, if so, determine whether there was any conservation that needed to be performed prior to the loan; receive the facility report from the requesting museum/historic site; complete the loan documents, including proof of insurance from the borrowing organization; and then arrange for transport, including crating. 

    When I was on staff at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and working on requesting loans for both the permanent exhibit and a temporary exhibit, loan requests had to be made at least 6 months ahead and, in some instances (especially international loans), over a year in advance. On the other hand, we did borrow objects from Colonial Williamsburg, but since that is a close-by institution with whom JYF has a good relationship, some of what CW required from other organizations was waived because of the proximity (transportation of the requested objects was by JYF van and personnel, rather than by a fine arts carrier).

    I would say that 30 days barely gives you enough time to make sure the requested object is in good shape to loan, vet the requesting institution, get a facility report to make sure that the environmental conditions for the object you're loaning are what you want (e.g., temperature and humidity controls for uniforms or trading cards), verify insurance, and then arrange shipping, since shipping with a fine arts courier can take some time to arrange and even if you should choose to use another shipper, pack the object safely. 

    Hope this is helpful information

    Martha Katz-Hyman
    Independent Curator
    Newport News, VA