Pictures hanging in storage.

Borrowing for an exhibition

You can borrow items from the Alexander Turnbull Library collections to use in public exhibitions in New Zealand or internationally. Read about our loans process and find out what what you need to do to borrow an item.

Tell us about your request

When you request an item for your exhibition make sure you include: 

  • Exhibition dates.
  • A registration number for each collection item you wish to borrow with full details of the item/s.
  • Details of your exhibition (context of display for the requested item/s)
  • A facilities report for your venue and any additional venues.

Make your request to borrow items from our collection

Make a request for the items you would like to borrow from our collection using our 'Ask a librarian' form. 

Ask a librarian

We need plenty of notice

Contact us about your loan request at least 6 months before the opening date of your exhibition.

We will need more notice if your request is for a number of collection items or is complex in nature.

Assessment criteria 

We do our best to support loan requests. We consider the following in our decision:

  • Nature of the proposed venue(s) and audience.
  • Size and complexity of the proposed loan in relation to any conflicting requests and priorities.
  • Nature and condition of the collection item.
  • Timeliness of the request and length of loan.
  • If the absence of the object will be detrimental to our public programmes or greatly disappoint our readers.

Once we've considered your request, we will let you know as quickly as possible whether we can lend you the items you are interested in.;

Associated costs when you borrow items

As a borrower, you’ll be responsible for the associated costs of the loan. These are material costs only. We do not include staff time unless the work is contracted out.

Associated costs are likely to include:

  • Packing materials, including crate construction
  • Matting and framing of art works
  • Appropriate display mounts.

Borrower's responsibilities

You will be responsible for:

  • insurance (transit and in situ),
  • freight (including customs clearance if required)
  • costs of an accompanying courier, if required (fares, accommodation and daily allowance).;

Need more help

If you require further information or would like to discuss a potential loan request, please email our Collections Registrar — Amy Cosgrove at