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Due to refurbishment works in the Sydney Jones Library, Special Collections and Archives is closed to users from Monday 3 June until Monday 16 September (inclusive). We're still available for your enquiries via email.

Special Collections & Archives: Conditions for loan of SC&A materialaccredited archive service logo

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.

Conditions of loan of SC&A material


  • Ideally loan applications must be made not less than three months prior to the opening date of the exhibition, to allow time for the necessary condition checks and conservation (if required).
  • The normal loan period is three months to six months.
  • Irrespective of the terms of the loan, the borrowing authority must return any or all of the exhibits at the written request of the University of Liverpool Library.
  • The University of Liverpool Library reserves the right, at any time, not to proceed with a loan.


  • The suitability of a loan will normally be assessed by Special Collections & Archives (SCA) staff. In cases where we are unable to lend a document due to its condition, size, format or similar reason, we will endeavour to suggest a suitable alternative or facsimile.
  • The documents will usually be accompanied to and from the exhibition by a designated member of SCA staff, who has absolute discretion to withdraw the documents on loan if dissatisfied with the conditions at the designated venue.
  • We do not usually lend more than ten items to any one exhibition.


The borrower will be responsible for expenses incurred by the University of Liverpool Library in making a loan, including:

  • Charges for conservation treatment, mounting, packing and couriering exhibition items.
  • Travel and accommodation, if required, for the staff member who accompanies the item.
  • If the loan is cancelled, for whatever reason, all reasonable costs incurred to that date will be borne by the borrower.

Care of the document

  • Items are lent for the purpose of public exhibition only and may not be made available for study or other purposes outside their showcases without the written consent of the University of Liverpool Library.
  • After they have been mounted in the showcase for exhibition, items must be left undisturbed – except in the case of any emergency – until the exhibition is dismantled.
  • Documents are lent to a single institution.
  • No mark may be made on any item, nor may any such existing mark be obliterated. No adhesives of any kind may be applied to the items.
  • All materials used within the cases, with which the items may come into contact, must be acid-free and free of any pollutants.
  • No conservation measures of any description may be carried out other than with the consent of SCA staff.
  • A photographic record of condition will be taken by SCA staff prior to the loan.

Reproduction & credits

  • Reproduction is only allowed with the consent of the University of Liverpool Library.
  • Any caption or credit used for display purposes, and any description given in a catalogue, must state that the document is on loan from ‘The University of Liverpool Library’ and give the reference, which can be found on our online catalogues via 
  • One copy of the exhibition catalogue must be sent to SCA free of charge.

Exhibition premises & environment

  • Exhibition premises must be safe and secure in all respects and adequate safeguards in place before any items are borrowed.
  • All documents must be displayed in locked showcases. Any other method of display, particularly wall mounts, must be discussed.
  • Required environmental conditions will be declared prior to the loan agreement and will be dependent on the exhibits. We will require written assurance that the environmental conditions are suitable for the exhibits and will stipulate any necessary changes.
  • No food, drink or smoking can be allowed in the exhibition area.

Insurance against loss and damage

  • The University of Liverpool Library will determine the insurance value required in all cases.
  • Insurance arrangements must be made by, and at the expense of, the borrower.
  • UK Government Indemnity arrangements will be agreed according to the Government Indemnity Scheme guidelines found on the Arts Council website.

Packing and display

  • SCA staff will pack all items for transport to and from the exhibition.
  • Packaging must be stored safely by the borrower during the course of the exhibition, to enable it to be used for the return of the exhibits.
  • Appropriate mounts and cradles will be provided by the exhibition organisers in consultation with SCA staff.
  • A condition report will accompany each item on loan and must be agreed with the borrower before display. The report must be checked and agreed at the end of the exhibition.


  • Carrier, and transport and travel arrangements will be organised by the borrower, in liaison with SCA. For overseas loans, the borrower will be responsible for appointing a shipping agent, subject to approval, who will handle customs formalities.
  • All items must travel under the constant personal supervision of the member of SCA staff, or an authorised representative. No loan is to be unpacked, other than by the member of staff, or authorised representative, for examination at any point on either journey.
  • Borrowed items must not be stored anywhere other than the stated place of exhibition, unless specifically agreed with SCA staff.