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The intention of this policy is to:

  • Outline the institutional requirements that must be met by Requestors for loaning a record

  • Provide guidance to staff making decisions on loaning records

  • Ensure the legal and preservation requirements for external loans of Archives New Zealand and the Chief Archivist are met

Institutional statement on loaning

The Chief Archivist is responsible under section 11.1.c.iii of the Public Records Act 2005 for the function of facilitating access to and promoting the use of public archives. Loaning records for exhibition is one means of fulfilling this.

Loaning archival records can form part of Archives New Zealand’s and the Department of Internal Affairs’ desired outcomes of:

  • New Zealand is recognised for creating, sharing and using knowledge for social, cultural and economic well-being

  • The people of New Zealand have a strong and valued national identity, culture and heritage

Additionally, loaning is a collegial activity within the galleries, museums, libraries and archives sector and is mutually beneficial for building relationships and cross-pollinating awareness of and knowledge about collections with institutions and the visiting public.

Archives New Zealand will endeavour to approve any loans requested provided that all requirements listed in the ‘Requirements’ section are met.

Criteria for loaning


The request must be for a physical record in Archives New Zealand’s holdings. Reproductions, born-digital material and digital surrogates are not eligible for loan.

The record must be open-access, unless it is restricted for preservation reasons – for example, a painting that cannot be retrieved for Reading Room handling but is able to be safely exhibited if hung properly.

If records are restricted for preservation reasons they will be assessed by Preservation and Repository Services staff and the Requestor will be advised if they are suitable for loan. The display history of the record will be taken into consideration by staff when determining whether a record is suitable for loan.

If records that are restricted for content reasons are requested the loan will be declined unless permission to access and publicly exhibit the record/s is obtained in writing from the transferring agency or, in the case of obsolete agencies, its successor agency or delegated access authority.

If a restricted record is requested for which Archives New Zealand administers the restriction, access to it will be determined via the usual channels as per the Access Statement and the Requestor will be advised of the outcome. If a record requires treatment beyond normal remedial treatment in order to be prepared for exhibition, the cost of this will be incurred by the Requestor.


Loans are made only for the purposes of public exhibition or display.

Loans will be made only to institutions that have a track record of successful exhibition or display, suitably qualified professional sector staff, and are able to demonstrate that they meet Archives New Zealand’s loan requirements.

Declining a loan

Although loans will be approved whenever possible, Archives New Zealand reserves the right to decline a loan request for any reason it deems fit.

Archives New Zealand reserves the right to terminate a loan if the terms and conditions of the Loan Agreement are breached.



In processing a loan request, Archives requires:

  • A formal request directed to the Chief Archivist;

  • At least six months’ lead-in time before the record must be installed for exhibition opening;

  • All exhibition details including: title of exhibition; venues and dates; organiser’s name, address and contact details; scope of exhibition; expected duration of loan; complete list of records requested, including references; reason for including the records;

  • Names and details of staff responsible for preparing the exhibition;

  • A completed facilities report including security assurances and climate control data and specifications; Transport, packaging and the cost of treatment beyond remedial treatment to be paid for by the Requestor;

  • Details of the Requestor’s insurance or indemnity and a certificate of currency proving same;

  • Whether a publication will be produced, and if permission is needed

The Requestor will agree to:

Complete all mandatory documentation required by Archives New Zealand:

  • adhere to all terms, conditions and specifications of the Loan Agreement

  • meet all costs as specified in the Loan Agreement

  • ensure that only qualified or Archives-approved staff handle, install and de-install the record in accordance with Archives New Zealand’s instructions

  • assume responsibility for the care and protection of the record whilst in the Requestor’s custody. Any damage or loss is to be reported to Archives New Zealand immediately. In the event of damage no treatment is to be undertaken by the Requestor except for immediate stabilisation measures without advice and approval from Archives New Zealand

  • adhere to Archives New Zealand’s preservation specifications, which will be specified in the individual Loan Agreement, but in general:

    • for works on paper the temperature must be between 20 +/- 2°C and relative humidity of 50 +/- 5% with no more than 3% change in relative humidity per hour.

    • works on paper and textiles shall be exhibited only in artificial light not exceeding 50 lux unless otherwise specified. Paintings shall be exhibited only in artificial light not exceeding 250 lux unless otherwise specified.

Additional requirements for long-term exhibitions:

In the event that a long-term loan is requested, the following terms will be agreed and specified in the Loan Agreement:

  • the term of the loan and the renewal period

  • arrangements for the maintenance of the record

  • the name and reference of the record/s to be substituted or rotated, should Archives New Zealand specify that this must happen

  • arrangements for Archives New Zealand staff to visit and sight the record/s, should Archives New Zealand specify that this must happen

  • confirmation that the Requestor’s insurance and indemnity will cover a long-term loan

  • confirmation that relevant staff will be made aware of long-term loans in the institution

  • should international customs clearance be required the Requestor will arrange this in consultation with Archives New Zealand.

Touring exhibitions

In the event that a record is requested for a touring exhibition, one contract is to be negotiated for all exhibition venues.

Insurance and indemnity will be agreed and specified in the Loan Agreement by the Requestor and representatives from the Department of Internal Affairs’ Procurement team. Archives New Zealand expects the Requestor to cover the costs of insurance.

Archives New Zealand requires a detailed facilities report and transport plan for every venue at which the exhibition will be held.

Archives New Zealand reserves the right to refuse a record for display in any of the exhibition venues should it not meet requirements.

Archives New Zealand’s responsibilities

Archives New Zealand will provide:

  • the Loan Agreement covering all terms and conditions and specifications to which the Requestor agrees to adhere

  • names and contact details of staff within Archives who will assist with the loans process

  • condition reporting, remedial treatment, display and transport instructions for the record

  • archivist or curator advice about alternative records that can be loaned if the original request is declined

  • a loan courier, if required. A loan courier will be required if:

    • high-value records are being lent, as determined by Archives New Zealand;

    • due to the fragile nature of the record/s, a courier is required to oversee the handling of the works

    • due to special installation and packing requirements of the record

    • to protect the record/s against careless and inappropriate and excessive handling, changes of environmental condition etc

    • to protect the record/s during long and complex transportation arrangements

    • to assess the new venue and their facilities and/or provide specialised training to the staff

    • to deliver seminars, talks and workshops about the exhibition

The courier will be a member of Preservation and Repository Services, or a properly-briefed representative selected by the Manager of Preservation and Repository Services.

If a loan courier is required, the Requestor will meet the costs of their travel and accommodation.

Loan of Taonga

If any records requested are taonga, as defined by Archives New Zealand, the Requestor, or the community associated with the record, then the Principal Advisor Ratonga Māori will be asked to describe and implement the necessary tikanga and kawa relating to the loan.

If a Māori staff member must travel with the loan to fulfil tikanga and kawa, the cost for this will be met by the Requestor. In the event that no staff member is available from Archives New Zealand then a representative from the Requestor or the community associated with the record may take their place if approved by the Principal Advisor Ratonga Māori.


Courier – a person who travels with the loaned record to ensure its physical and cultural safety and that correct procedures are followed during the transport, installation, de-installation and return of the record

Kawa – protocol

Loan – temporary physical custody of a record for exhibition or display purposes

Loan Agreement – the contract entered into between the Requestor and Archives New Zealand specifying the terms and conditions of the loan

Long-term loan – a loan that is more than twelve months in duration

Record – a physical object held by Archives New Zealand that is capable of being loaned. The term “record” is used in this policy instead of “item” or “archive” for clarity. Born-digital material, digital surrogates and reproductions are not considered records for the purpose of this policy

Requestor – the requesting organisation or institution

Short-term loan – a loan that is less than twelve months in duration

Taonga – in this context, a record held by Archives New Zealand that holds cultural value for tangata whenua

Tikanga – Correct practice; custom