Coloured photographs held by The National Archives

Find guidance below on borrowing items from The National Archives for an exhibition.

Section 2(4)(g) of the Public Records Act 1958 empowers The National Archives to lend documents 'for display at commemorative exhibitions and for other special purposes', subject to the approval of the Lord Chancellor. Applicants for loans must meet all conditions as laid out in our conditions for loans. If you would like to borrow documents from The National Archives, there are some points you should consider:

  • we require six months' advance notice for any loan
  • loans can be made to one venue only and not to touring exhibitions
  • the period of loan is usually three months
  • we do not usually lend more than ten documents to any one exhibition
  • the borrower is responsible for all costs, including insurance, conservation treatment if required, conservator time, providing photographs of all items and all costs associated with the installation and collection of borrowed items, including courier time
  • loans will be considered for public display purposes only
  • The National Archives must be clearly acknowledged in both the display and any accompanying catalogues to the exhibition.

See our conditions for loans for further information on timescales, costs, travel and display.

We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our loans programme. We therefore routinely monitor the carbon footprint of our loans.

How to apply

Apply for a loan using our loans for exhibitions online application form.


For general loan enquiries please email us at Exhibition Loans.

Selected recent exhibitions

1. Recent Exhibitions (2012-14)

2. Current Exhibitions: