Loans for exhibitions

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’. Applicants for loans must meet all conditions, including those on timescales, costs, travel and display, 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 are made to one venue only
  • the period of loan is usually three months
  • we do not usually lend more than 10 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.


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 (2014-15)

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World (6 October 2013 – 20 January 2014)

2. Current exhibitions

3. Upcoming exhibitions

Discovery, The National Archives' new catalogue, provides information about our records.