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Loan display requirements

We will discuss and agree all display methods with you in advance of the loan, with any specific requirements noted in Schedule 1 of the Loan Agreement. As a minimum, we expect the following.

Exhibition design and build

  • You will supply us with design layout plans and/or case drawings, and a completed UKRG display case supplement no less than three months prior to the start of the Loan Period.
  • The exhibition gallery must be free of all construction before installation can take place.
  • Adhesives, paints and varnishes must have been applied a minimum of two days before installation.
  • No oil-based paints will be used inside the gallery.

Environment and lighting

  • Specific environmental requirements for each object will be listed in Schedule 1, but as a minimum we expect 20°C +/- 2°C in 24 hours, 50% RH +/- 10% in 24 hours. It is important that any fluctuations in temperature and RH are minimal and infrequent. These parameters may need to be tighter depending on the type of object being loaned and will be discussed with you early on in the loan process.
  • You will provide a stable environment for our loan(s) at all times and ensure that they are not placed near sources of heat, direct light, vibration, air ducts or exposed draughts.
  • You will block all daylight and UV in the area containing our loan. No direct daylight will fall on our items.
  • Lux level requirements will vary depending on the material being loaned, but we would expect your lighting systems to be able to achieve anything between 40–250 lux.
  • Smoking (including e-cigarettes), food and drink will not be permitted within the exhibition gallery.

Display cases

  • All internal display-case elements will be constructed of inert material.
  • Case materials will be assessed by our conservator and evidence of test results (eg. the Oddy test) may be needed for some materials.
  • Adhesive will not be used to affix the lining material, rather, it will be pinned, stitched or stapled.
  • No oil-based paints will be used inside the display cases.
  • All internal finishes must be allowed to off-gas fully before object installation.
  • Cases will have space for inserting conditioning material (eg. a silica-gel cassette) when needed, and will allow for sufficient air flow between the conditioning compartment and the display area of the case.
  • Cases will be sealed and dust-free.
  • The cases will be stable and either secured to the floor or wall or weighted to the ground.
  • Cases will meet the security standards required by UK Government Indemnity – ie. be fitted with anti-bandit laminated glass meeting British Standard BS 5544 and EN 356 P3A. This glazing will be 11.5 mm thick or greater.
  • The use of acrylic or Perspex glazing may be permitted as an alternative to the above, provided its minimum thickness is 12 mm.
  • There should be safe and straightforward access to display-case interiors to allow for easy (de)installation and/or for quick access in case of an emergency.
  • We will want to know what other exhibits will share the case with our loan items in advance of installation.
  • Where possible, we would prefer display cases not to have internal lighting. When this is unavoidable, cases will have a lay-light or separate compartment to house lamps so that the lighting can be maintained without opening the core display case. Lamps will be LED and emit no heat or UV light.
  • Cases will be secured with a minimum of two locks or a sufficient number of security screws. The screw heads will be concealed.
  • Loans will be installed, and display cases locked, only in our courier’s presence (if sent). Other objects sharing the case will be placed at the same time as our loans. We would prefer for text or graphic labels to be placed outside display cases, but if this is not possible, then these will also be positioned at the same time as our loans.
  • Once loans are installed, the cases will not be reopened without prior agreement, unless there is an emergency.

Cradles and mounts

  • Display methods for books and other manuscripts that require a cradle or mount for display will be discussed with you in advance of their fabrication.
  • We will arrange for the manufacture of all such cradles and mounts and will invoice you for the cost of these.
  • In the interest of sustainability, we aim to use card for mounts whenever possible. However, there will be times when acrylic is required.
  • We will inform you if the cradle or mount is to be flat, or if the item can be displayed at an angle.

Wall hanging

  • When loans are hung on the wall, the wall will be stable and at least 18 mm thick.
  • We will provide and attach our own hanging and security fixings (usually SpringLOCK) and will send a security tool with the loan for you to keep until the end of the Loan Period.
  • We will mount and frame all loans ourselves and will invoice you for the cost of this work.
  • We reuse frames from our existing stock wherever possible, in which case the cost to you will generally be for new glazing (if required), materials (mountboard, Art-Sorb etc) and our technician’s time.
  • If a new frame is required, then we will discuss this with you before commissioning one to be made.


  • Any of your employees who assist with handling and installation of our loan(s) will be professionally trained and experienced in handling like material.
  • Empty packing cases and all packing material will be stored in a clean and stable environment during the Exhibition.