Exhibition Loans

 The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections welcomes applications from institutions to borrow items from its collections for exhibitions.  Institutions wishing to request items are advised to read the following guidelines in advance of making a request and to contact the Library a minimum of one month before the planned installation date of the exhibition. Borrowers requesting a larger number of items should make initial contact with the library no less than twelve months prior to the installation date.

Each loan request is judged on its own merits, and the final decision to loan an item is based on the following criteria.

  • The condition of the item(s).
  • The nature and length of the exhibition.
  • The facilities of the borrowing institution.
  • The anticipated need of the item(s) for the Library’s own research or exhibition purposes.

Some objects in the Special Collections are not available for loan, including those judged too fragile or too environmentally sensitive to travel.

Make a Request

Use our Ask an Archivist service to initiate requests for exhibitions loans from our holdings.

Special Collections will work with partners to make requests, which should contain the following information:

  • Full details of the item(s) requested listed in our Exhibition Loan Agreements, including the title, dates, description, the call number or identifier, or appropriate manuscript collection metadata (including mss call number, series or accession number, box and/or folder number) as well as descriptions for bound volumes specifying the opening(s) to be displayed.
  • A full facilities report for the premises where proposed loan item(s) is to be exhibited (travelling exhibitions must provide full details for all venues in the tour). You may use the Standard Facility Report template adopted by the Registrars Committee American Association of Museums in 1998 or craft your own. Your facilities report should include information about the following:
    • borrowing institution
    • building
    • fire protection
    • security
    • environment
    • handling and packing
    • insurance
    • references and loan history
  • Information about exhibition catalogs and/or web versions of the exhibition.

Terms and Conditions

There is no loan fee to borrow from Special Collections; however, the Borrower will be responsible for all direct costs for record photography, archival mount preparation, packing, crating, shipping, insurance, and any possible courier costs. 

In most cases, the loan period for items is six months, maximum, from the date the item leaves to the date the item returns to the Library. More time may be considered in some circumstances where the nature of the loan requires it, i.e., travelling exhibitions. A maximum number of items for any loan will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, subject to format, condition and value of item(s) requested.

Additional terms:

  • No photographs may be taken of the item(s) by the borrowing institution or visitors to the exhibition without our prior permission.
  • Conservation or remedial treatment of any kind may not be performed without our permission.
  • The source of the loan will be acknowledged both on the exhibition label for the item(s), and in any exhibition catalog.  ‘Courtesy of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.'
  • Two complimentary copies of any exhibition catalog will be sent to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections.