Museum Loans

Loan Requests

Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) is currently working towards a number of major capital projects as part of its 10-year strategic plan. These include two phases of a new off-site headquarters and storage facility, the refurbishment of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and a new museum of Science of Industry.

Lending works from our collection allows us to show works to new audiences. However, it is a resource-intensive process. Our teams have significant commitments to our major capital projects, and loans draw on our collections at a time when BMT needs for these to be available for our own programmes and the development of our future galleries and exhibitions.

The Board of BMT has cancelled the loans moratorium that was formerly in place. Instead, we are pro-actively managing our loans, and considering them on a case-by-case basis. Our current approach to loans reflects the re-prioritisation of our resources, and the more focused, strategic management of lending. We ask borrowers to contact us in advance of loan requests and to give us a minimum of one year’s notice.

Where possible we will continue to support loans that contribute to BMT’s strategic aims and objectives as outlined within our 10-year strategic plan, and our own research and audience objectives.

If you would like to speak to our loans registrar to discuss existing agreed loans please contact Nuala Bradley on

Loans Request Process

Please read our Lending Guidelines and Procedures (PDF).

We require twelve months notice for loan requests and letters must be addressed to the Director of Birmingham Museums, Dr Ellen McAdam.

Dr Ellen McAdam,
Director of Birmingham Museums Trust
Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
B3 3DH

If you would like to request an object the letter should include:

  • Object details including the accession number
  • Exhibition dates and any tour venues and dates
  • Reason for the loan and exhibition content
  • A completed UKRG facilities report, security supplement, display supplement
  • Environmental charts for the exhibition period one year prior to the proposed dates
  • Contact details for the registrar or loan administrator
  • An indication of how you will insure the loan i.e. Government Indemnity or commercial insurance.


At a monthly collections meeting the request will be assessed against our loans criteria and existing commitments. Following this, the registrar will inform the ‘borrower’ of the final decision within two months. After conservation assessment of the objects, the loan agreement will be sent to the lender to be completed.

The loan will be agreed if the request fits the following criteria:

  • The loan will enhance the knowledge and interpretation of the object
  • The exhibition will showcase the Birmingham Museums collection in a new context providing further academic research
  • Raise the profile of Birmingham Museums and Birmingham as a cultural city
  • Support existing projects/partnerships
  • The exhibition will be popular and will contribute to meeting targets of visitor numbers for Birmingham Museums data collection.

Please note that if the object requested is not suitable for loan due to its condition Birmingham Museums will inform you of this immediately. Loans will not be agreed for works which are already committed for loan, have returned from loan out within three years or are committed to an exhibition or display at Birmingham Museums.

Loan Periods

Temporary loans out to exhibitions will be lent for three to six months.
Long term loans will be lent for a period of three years.

Useful Links

The following links provide copies of the UKRG Facilities Report, Security Supplement, Display Case Supplement and Government Indemnity guidelines:

Contact the Loans Registrar

For loans enquiries please contact:

Nuala Bradley, Loans Registrar
Birmingham Museums Trust
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
B3 3DH