Borrowing from us

We hold over a million objects representing collections covering Anthropology, Archaeology, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Fine Arts, Natural Sciences, Numismatics and Social and Industrial History. We encourage lending from our collections in order to make our fantastic resources available to a wider audience.

Why we loan objects out

  • To widen access to our collections and facilitate outreach
  • To contribute to a wider understanding of art history and science
  • To support research into our collections
  • To support other museums and develop partnerships

Who we lend to

  • Accredited/Registered museums and galleries
  • Libraries and Archives
  • Educational Institutions
  • Public and charitable bodies and community organisations
  • Bona Fide individuals for research and study

All borrowers need to demonstrate they can provide and maintain suitable facilities and appropriate conditions.

How to request to borrow an item

Exhibition loans

Requests to borrow an item should be addressed to the Head of Leeds Museums & Galleries, and include as much of the following information as possible:

  • Information about the exhibition, other items being displayed and how the item fits into the exhibition.
  • Accession number, object or artist’s name and title
  • Information on the venue, or for all venues for a touring exhibition, preferably using UKRG facilities reports and questionnaires (available at UK Registrars Group)

Items should be requested at least six months in advance; where several objects are requested, or for an international exhibition, requests should be made nine months in advance. Informal discussions are welcomed before a formal request is made.

Research Loans

We are happy to consider requests for loans for research. Requests to borrow should be addressed to the Head of Leeds Museums and Galleries and include the following information:

  • a detailed description of their project and how a study of items will contribute to their research
  • if possible, accession number, object or artist’s name and title

References will be required from individuals wishing to borrow material and we would prefer to lend to institutions convenient for individuals to visit rather than private addresses (e.g. a nearby University or accredited museum). Loans for research purposes can often be made at shorter notice than for exhibitions, but at least six weeks notice is required for all loans.

What happens after I request an item?

Our registrars department will acknowledge your request within 3 weeks, and request any additional information needed. Once all information is received we will endeavour to make a decision to either lend or refuse within 8 weeks.

Why would my loan request be refused?

We refuse loans from time to time; this may be for one of the following reasons:

  • when suitable environmental and / or security cannot be provided
  • there is insufficient time to consider and prepare the loan
  • if the item is fragile, or unstable or at excessive risk of damage from handling or transit
  • if the item is required by us for display, learning or outreach
  • if the item has been lent frequently
  • if the item is in demand from visitors to our sites
  • if the request is for use as props in theatre, film or TV production
  • if excessive cost would be involved in moving the item

If we refuse a loan on the basis of environment or display issues, we will work with the borrower to overcome these issues. Where a work/object is already scheduled for display or loan, we will endeavour to offer an alternative.

Are there any costs involved?

We do not have a standard borrowing fee for UK loans. However we do charge an administration fee of £500 for international or commercial borrowers.

We try to keep costs to a minimum, however the borrower is responsible for all costs relating to the loan, including:

  • insurance
  • framing / glazing
  • display requirements, such as plinths and hood for objects
  • transport, including courier expenses if required

Other costs such as crating, couriers, condition checking/reporting and material costs for conservation work will be identified at the time of the formal agreement of loan.

If a borrower cancels a loan at a late stage we reserve the right to pass on any costs already incurred.

We will not normally charge for staff time but we may ask borrowers to contribute if works to prepare the loan are lengthy or expensive.


For informal discussion prior to submitting a formal request, please contact:


Registrars Department
Leeds Museum Discovery Centre
Carlisle Road
LS10 1LB


[email protected]
Registrar and Collections Manager

Formal loan requests should be addressed to:


David Hopes
Head of Leeds Museums & Galleries
Leeds Museum Discovery Centre
Carlisle Road
LS10 1LB


[email protected]
Head of Leeds Museums & Galleries