GCM loan Policy August 2016

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Galway City Museum

Spanish Parade, Galway

Loans Policy



This Loan Policy sets out the regulations for

  • The lending of objects from the Galway City Museum collection to other institutions
  • The borrowing of objects into Galway City Museum from other institutions or private owners

Galway City Museum has a small permanent collection but supports an active loan policy. The collections which are held in trust are to be used as fully as possible to maximise public benefit, to provide more comphrensive exhibitions and increased accessibility to objects in storage.

This is the first Loan Policy of Galway City Museum. The policy will be assessed on an annual basis with the Museum governing body, Galway City Council and a detailed review will be undertaken at five-year intervals.

The Mission Statement of Galway City Museum is ‘To be a centre of learning, inspiration, engagement & enrichment for all our visitors by collecting, preserving & displaying the material heritage of Galway’.



2.1 The safeguarding of all loan collections is of the highest priority for Galway City Museum and as such every effort is made to ensure that collections care for both inward and outward loans is maintained to the highest standard.

2.2 All loans, incoming and outgoing will be accompanied by the appropriate documentation and loan agreements and entered into a loan register and database.

2.3 Loans outward will only be made to other institutions and not private individuals. The borrowing institution must be open to the public.

2.4 Galway City Museum will as a general rule, not interrupt its own exhibitions by removing an object to meet a loan request.

2.5 Loans in and out are for a fixed term period – generally one year. No loan, inward or outward will exceed three years – but may be reviewed and extended after the loan period expires.

2.6 The term ‘permanent loan’ will not be used as a loan period, as it is a term that has no legal status.

2.7 Loaned out objects are to be returned to Galway City Museum at the end of the loan period without delay. Likewise any objects borrowed by Galway City Museum will be returned to the Lender at the end of the loan period.

2.8 Only objects that are the property of Galway City Museum will be considered for lending. Under no circumstances will Galway City Museum lend objects that are on loan to it from other sources.

2.9 Objects will generally only be taken in on loan for a specific purpose, such as for use in a display or for research.




Applications to borrow objects from Galway City Museum should be made in writing to the Museum Director, at least six months in advance of the required date. The application should include:

  • Purpose of Loan
  • Title and dates of exhibition
  • Borrower contact details
  • List of objects requested

Galway City Museum will normally require a Facilities Report to be completed by the borrower              which is to be returned to the Museum Director at least three months before the proposed commencement of the loan.

In February 2010 Galway City Museum received designated status under the National Cultural Institutions Act, 1997. This means that Galway City Museum is legally entitled to retain archaeological objects for and on behalf of the State. Any requests for the loan of archaeological objects will be subject to consultation between Galway City Museum and the National Museum of Ireland.


If the completed Facilities Report meets the Museum’s requirements then a venue inspection will be arranged. If this proves successful and the loan is approved, a detailed Loan Agreement will be drawn up. Decisions regarding lending will take the resources required for conservation, documentation and transportation into consideration. Loans should not place a disproportionate burden on either the borrower or the lender.

The Loan Agreement will be a legally binding contract between the two parties. The loan will not proceed until a copy of the Loan Agreement has been signed by the borrowing institution and returned to Galway City Museum (loan will be noted in the Galway City Museum Loans Register and Database).

Photographic and written condition reports will be completed and signed by the parties to the loan at the points of exit and entry of both institutions.


Responsibility for the handling of loan material, packing, transport and installation will be the responsibility of Galway City Museum staff, except in cases of emergency. Galway City Museum may nominate a staff member to personally courier the loan to the receiving institution at the borrower’s expense. Borrowers must provide easy and safe access for the installation of loan items, as well as a secure area for unpacking and packing.


The Borrower will arrange commercial all-risk insurance – ‘nail to nail’ cover – from the time the loan objects depart Galway City Museum until they are returned to Galway City Museum at the end          of the loan period. Insurance values are based on valuations for each object provided by Galway City Museum. Proof of insurance is to be provided by the Borrower to Galway City Museum.


The Borrower is required to have adequate security arrangements in place at the venue, including as a minimum standard a 24 hour monitored burglar alarm, close circuit television (CCTV) and fire alarm. The security arrangements will be assessed on the basis of the Facilities Report and a venue inspection.

Display cases must be completely secure, access being controlled by means of locks or panels fixed with security screws, which are secured once installation has taken place. Any glass used in the case must be a minimum of 7.5 mm thick laminated glass. If the object is of high value, the case must be of laminated glass of at least 11.5 mm thickness and fitted with alarms.

The Borrower will notify the Lender immediately if damage or loss is discovered. The Borrower will not alter, clean or repair objects on loan.


Galway City Museum should not be at a financial loss as a result of loaning an object. Costs associated with the loan of objects should be identified in advance by both parties. Galway City Museum will cover the administration costs of the loan. The borrowing institution must meet all other reasonable costs, including:



Courier travel, accommodation and subsistence





Copyright, intellectual property, photographic and filming rights and publication rights are retained by

Galway City Museum. The Borrower may request permission to reproduce an image in the following


  • for a catalogue for an exhibition associated with the loan
  • for educational material directly related to a exhibition featuring the loan item
  • for publicity related to any exhibition featuring the loaned item.

Confirmation of permission to use images will be issued in writing by Galway City Museum. Any images used must be acknowledged as ‘Courtesy of Galway City Museum

Reproduction rights for merchandising will not be granted.

While on display in the borrowing institution, each object will be labelled and credited to Galway City Museum: ‘Loan from Galway City Museum‘.


The Borrower will exercise the same care in respect to loan objects as it does to objects in its own collections to ensure protection against loss, damage or deterioration. Objects will be displayed with consideration to security and environmental conditions.

All Galway City Museum objects must be provided with a stable environment. Unless otherwise stated on the loan schedule, this will be a temperature in the range of 18 – 22° c and relative humidity in the range of 45-55% with a daily flucuation of no more than 10%. UV radiation must be kept below 10 microwatts per lumen. Light levels for the objects will be set by the Museum Director according to the sensitivity of the objects concerned e.g. 50 Lux for sensitive objects such as paper.

Eating and drinking should be prohibited in the exhibition areas.


Galway City Museum will exercise the same care and precautions for objects received on loan as it does for its permanent collections. The Museum will endeavour to meet the requirements of the lender. All incoming objects will be documented and a condition report and photographic record will be completed on point of entry and exit of Galway City Museum by either the Museum Director or an authorised staff member.

4.1 Galway City Museum may seek loans from external sources for exhibition or research purposes, from other institutions or private individuals.

4.2 The acceptance of items on loan may only be authorised by the Museum Director or an authorised representative.

4.3 The period of the loan will normally be agreed in writing between the Museum Director and the owner of the object at the time of deposit. Where the term of a loan has expired, it may be renewed or extended for further finite periods, at the discretion of both the owner and the Museum Director.

4.4 Galway City Museum will only agree long-term loans (not exceeding three years) with institutions rather than with private individuals.

4.5 When considering long-term loans from private individuals, it is far preferable that Galway City Museum seek to acquire title to the object. The policy does permit the Museum Director the discretion to accept such loans in exceptional circumstances.

Galway City Museum opens Tuesday to Saturday from 10am until 5pm.  Admission is FREE!

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