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1. Introduction

SOAS Library, University of London (hereafter ‘The Library’), welcomes applications from internal and external curators (hereafter ‘the Borrower’) to borrow items from its collections for display within designated spaces on the SOAS campus (as defined in Section 2).

Curators wishing to request a loan are advised to read the following policy guidelines in advance of making a request, and to contact the Library at least 6 months before the planned opening date of an exhibition.

In assessing loan applications, we will consider the condition of the items, any planned use of the item during the period of the loan, the suitability of the display area being requested and the resources available to expedite the loan. Loans will be contingent upon the Borrower satisfying the Loan Conditions, as detailed below, and any additional conditions specified by SOAS Library.

2. Scope of the policy

This policy applies to all applications for the loan of SOAS Library materials for display within designated spaces on the SOAS campus, by internal (SOAS staff and students) or external curators.

Areas on campus deemed suitable for the exhibit of materials include the Brunei Gallery and spaces inside the Library, including the Wolfson Gallery and the display cases on Level E of the Library. Approval for display in specific areas will be at the discretion of Library staff.

Applications for the loan of SOAS Library materials for exhibitions that will take place outside the SOAS campus are subject to our separate Outward Loans Policy .

SOAS Library will consider applications for loans where the borrower can meet our Loan Conditions (set out in Section 7).

3. Submitting an application

Loan applications will be considered but not approved prior to confirmation of the exhibition proposal .

Applications should be made by the Borrower using the Internal Loan Application form , and provide the following details:

  • the name, position and contact details of the Borrower
  • location for exhibition (Brunei Gallery, Foyle Gallery, Wolfson Gallery, Library West Wall, Library North Wall) Library Level E display areas
  • title and dates of the exhibition
  • outline of the exhibition and how the Library’s material will be used within this context
  • details of the items requested, including full reference(s) - please consult Library catalogues https://library.soas.ac.uk
  • agreement to Loan Conditions, indicated by signature of applicant

The application must be received by the Library at least 6 months before the planned opening date of an exhibition. Applications should be submitted to:

Special Collections
SOAS Library
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London, WC1H 0XG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4180
Email: special.collections@soas.ac.uk

4. Consideration and agreement

Authority to approve loans rests with the SOAS Collections, Galleries and Studios Operational Group.

Following receipt of the application, a response will be communicated to the applicant as quickly as possible in the form of a Letter of Agreement.

Detailed discussions around the loan will then begin. The Borrower will be required to meet our Loan Conditions (Section 7) in full. The loan will also be contingent upon the Borrower satisfying any additional conditions specific to the requirements of each loan.

5. Duration of loan

The maximum length of any loan is normally 6 months. Requests to borrow material for longer periods will generally not be considered.

SOAS reserves the right to cut short the loan period if it deems that the items are deteriorating in any way, are at risk of damage, or if the Borrower otherwise fails to comply with the Loan Conditions in accordance with the Internal Loans Policy.

6. Cost of the Loan

The Borrower agrees to pay all expenses in connection with the loan, as determined by the Library. These expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • costs of the conservation or repair where this is deemed necessary for the items to be safely displayed
  • the supply of appropriate supports, mounts or frames for display
  • the supply of text panels and mounted captions
  • photography, digital scanning or other reproductions of the items made by the Library or by the Borrower for purposes in connection with the loan
  • other costs incurred by the loan, as determined by the Library

All costs will be payable by the Borrower, even if the application is later withdrawn or the loan refused.

The Library will send the Borrower estimates of costs before any work is undertaken in connection with the loan. Payments must be made promptly. In the event that the Library makes a payment in connection with the loan, the Library will seek to recover these costs from the Borrower at the earliest opportunity and before the end of the loan period.

7. Loan Conditions
7.1 Conservation

If, in the Library’s opinion, a conservation assessment of the items or their professional repair is required prior to the loan, it will be a condition of the loan that the necessary repair and conservation work is first carried out by an approved conservator. The Borrower shall meet the costs of any conservation or repair work required by the Library.

7.2 Method of display & captions

All items will be exhibited in museum-grade display cases approved by the Library for security and environmental conditions.

The Library may agree to exceptions for framed material, which will be secured to walls with approved security fittings.

The method of display for each item will need to be agreed with the Library in advance. Where the Library provides supports, cradles or mounts, this will be at the expense of the Borrower.

Text panels and captions will need to be agreed with the Library in advance. The production of these will be at the expense of the Borrower.

7.3 Photography and use of images

Digital reproductions of the items required by the Borrower may be ordered in advance from the Library, at the Borrower’s expense.

All further requests for reproductions of the items and publication rights should be made to the Library, in advance and in writing.

The Borrower agrees not to allow the items to be photographed, video recorded, televised or reproduced in any way for commercial purposes during the loan period without the prior written permission of the Library.

7.4 Acknowledgements

All items on display must have the acknowledgement, ‘SOAS Library, University of London’, and a full SOAS Library reference. This extends to the use of the items in any publication or media coverage arising from the loan (subject to permission to publish being sought, as detailed above).

7.5 Cancellation

The Library retains the right to withdraw or cancel the loan at any time, in communication with the Borrower. The Borrower will bear any reasonable costs associated with this.

8. Review

Date of the policy: January 2022

Date for review: January 2023