Loans of Library Materials for Exhibition

Princeton University Library (PUL) endeavors to enrich outstanding teaching, learning, and research at Princeton and throughout the global scholarly community by providing access to world-class library services and collections. In considering loan requests, PUL strives to balance the needs of faculty, students, and associated campus constituents with engagement in broader educational enterprise. Loan requests are considered based on factors including but not restricted to: whether the exhibition is of scholarly importance and the item to be borrowed is essential for the success of said exhibition; whether the institution is preparing a published exhibition catalogue that would document the exhibition, including the particular loan item(s); whether the institution is one with which we have a reciprocal borrowing agreement; and whether the loan will serve Princeton’s mission, broaden public awareness of holdings, strengthen relationships with the surrounding community, and advance the cause of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

PUL considers requests to loan items from its collections through a formal review process. Generally speaking, requests should be submitted one year prior to the event for which the item(s) are needed. The standard length of loan is typically no longer than three months. To be considered, the request should include: sufficient time before the event; satisfactory completion of all required preliminary reports, including, but not limited to: a standard American Alliance of Museums (AAM) General Facility Report; wall-to-wall insurance coverage through an approved insurance binder; a detailed agreement on the means by which the item(s) will be transported from Princeton to the borrower and returned; and any necessary conservation treatment and agreed-upon mounting. Costs associated with the loan will be assumed by the borrower.

Items requested for loan must be in good physical condition, and judged able to withstand the ordinary strains of packing, transportation, handling, and exhibition. Inherently fragile or sensitive items may not be appropriate for loan. Borrowing institutions must follow professional practices and have a facility that meets the standards established by the AAM.

All items are loaned solely for public exhibition, research, and educational purposes. No commercial use may be made of any of these loans except as specifically provided in the loan agreement. In general, collection items are lent only to similar nonprofit institutions and for the purpose of public exhibition. Exhibition loans that involve multiple locations (i.e., traveling exhibitions) are rarely approved. PUL reserves the right to refuse requests at its own discretion.

Queries may be submitted to the Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, Will Noel at or to the relevant curator(s) or subject librarian(s). Requests for exhibition loans of any item(s) will be coordinated by the Exhibitions Registrar, Stephanie Wiener at who will communicate directly with the requester throughout the process.