The Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), loans objects from its collections for temporary exhibits to qualifying museums. While the Department's goal is to accommodate qualified borrowers, the volume and timing of submissions often make it impossible to approve all requests. For the best chance of approval, please submit your request at least 18 months prior to the proposed shipping date, with clear intellectual justification for the loan and evidence of budgetary planning for conservation, bracket-making, packing and shipping.
Update, October 2018: Due to a high volume of loans at this time, we are not accepting any new exhibit loan requests until further notice.
Proposing a Loan
Loan requests follow a 2-stage evaluation and approval process. First, the borrower submits a Preliminary Loan Request Form, which outlines the nature and scope of the loan. The Department of Anthropology’s Collections Advisory Committee reviews these requests, and those that are approved are moved into Active Loan Review status.
During the Active Loan Review stage, the details of the loan will be further evaluated by our conservation, registration, and curatorial staff. We may request additional information or adjustments to the proposal. The Anthropology Collections Advisory Committee then makes a recommendation to the Department Chair, who will either decline or give the final approval for the loan.
Preparing a Proposal
We strongly encourage prospective borrowers to consult with appropriate Department curator(s) and, if possible, visit the collections before submitting a loan proposal. Proposals that include specific catalog numbers, and a strong justification for the use of specific objects, are more likely to be successful.
For more details on loan requirements and procedures, please refer to the following documents:
For further information regarding our loan program, please contact
David Rosenthal, Collections Manager.