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Exhibition Loans

Thomas Jefferson letter loaned for exhibit

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) to
Baron Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), June 9, 1804, manuscript letter
Manuscript Division

Manuscript Division collections are fertile ground for curators and other specialists involved in creating exhibitions. The Manuscripts Division exhibition registrar, in partnership with Division manuscript specialists, the Library's Interpretive Programs Office (IPO) and the Conservation Division facilitates the loan of original collection material to institutions worldwide. Exhibit quality facsimiles of collection material can be ordered through the Library's Photoduplication Service.

The steps to a successful loan of Manuscript Division material are straightforward. Once the borrower has identified the collection items that they wish to borrow, they send their list of items, which includes the collection location, catalog number, opening (if it is a bound item), and page information for the page(s) to be displayed to the Library of Congress IPO Registrar:

Tambra Johnson, Registrar, (202) 707-1917 Email:
or Rachel Waldron, Associate Registrar, (202) 707-3609 Email:
Interpretive Programs Office
LA G-25
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4950
Fax: (202) 707-9063

The borrower should also provide the following information, six months prior to the exhibition:

  1. Exact dates of the exhibition, to include opening and closing dates.
  2. Addresses and opening/closing dates for all venues (if the exhibition is traveling)
  3. A Facilities Report for each institution exhibiting the materials.
  4. Contact person of the borrowing institution, to include telephone, fax and email.
  5. Proposed provisions for shipping and insurance.

All exhibition loans are subject to a conservation review. The Conservation Division will carry out treatments, when necessary to stabilize the exhibition items. They will create exhibition housings for all collection material going on exhibition to ensure their safe handling and display.

Among the institutions that requested loans of Manuscript Division collection material in 2006-2008 were the following:

  • The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Literaturhaus, Berlin, Germany
  • American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
  • Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • New-York Historical Society, New York, N.Y.
  • Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio
  • The Stephen Decatur House, Washington, D.C.
  • Federal Hall National Memorial, New York, N.Y.
  • Capitol Visitors Center, U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.
  • The Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda, Calif.
  • Oshkosh Public Museum, Oshkosh, Wisc.
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
  • The Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Alexandria, Va.
  • Lafayette College, Easton, Penn.
  • Museum of the American West, Autry National Center of the American West, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, The North Dakota Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Washburn, N.Dak.
  • Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy
  • Museu d’Historia de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Loan Procedures for Institutions provides further information on Library of Congress exhibition loans.

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  October 7, 2008
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