University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Outgoing Loans of Special Collections Items


The Hesburgh Libraries supports requests for exhibition loans from its collections. Requests will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria: physical condition of the item(s); facilities, security, and exhibits programming of the borrowing institution; the exhibition for which the loan is proposed; rarity and research value of the item(s); and the anticipated local need of the item(s) for teaching and research at the University of Notre Dame. We strive to balance access with preservation and security to facilitate the availability of our collections.

The borrowing institution is responsible for all costs associated with the loan, such as, but not limited to, photographic reproductions, mount preparation, packing, transportation, and insurance for the duration of the loan. The borrowing institution is also responsible for the professional handling, storage, and oversight of materials within their possession for the duration of the loan period.

There is a formal request and approval procedure for borrowing materials from the Hesburgh Libraries with specific conditions that a borrower must meet.

Initial Inquiries

The Library welcomes inquiries that allow adequate time for review and assessment. Shortly after an initial inquiry is received, a preliminary evaluation of the requested item(s) will be made by the curator and a conservator, and the prospective borrower will be notified of any special needs, requirements, or restrictions on the request.

Initial inquiries about materials should be made to the following address:

The initial inquiry must be received at least six months in advance of the anticipated shipping date; requests with less advance notice may not be able to be accommodated. The request should include the following information:

  • Title of the exhibition and a brief description of its purpose and scope
  • Inclusive dates of the exhibition and inclusive dates of proposed loan (for each venue if more than one is proposed)
  • A facilities report that provides detailed information about the library building and exhibition space including its security and environmental controls, or a report for each venue if more than one is proposed.
  • Name(s) and affiliation of exhibition curator(s)
  • Detailed information about the item(s) to be borrowed: full citation and call number for printed materials; collection name, box and folder number for archival and manuscript materials
  • Page openings for volumes; for multi-paged manuscripts, an exact description of what is to be displayed
  • Indication of plans for a published catalog and/or Web version of the exhibition; indication of any photography or scanning needs
  • Statement of willingness to conform to the conditions of loan set by the lender

Exhibition Requests

Loans must be received, stored, and displayed in a secure area with stable conditions with respect to temperature between 64-72°F and relative humidity between 40-55%.

A pre-loan condition report will be sent with all loans. The borrowing institution must submit to Hesburgh Libraries a written record of the object(s)' condition within 72 hours of receipt and a second condition report immediately prior to return. Objects shall be insured at Borrower's expense under a standard, comprehensive fine arts policy of insurance acceptable to the University of Notre Dame during the period of this loan for the value stated on the loan agreement.