Loans for exhibitions

Loan requests

Please direct loan requests for exhibits to:

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books
Ludwigstrasse 16
80328 Munich

With its unique collections of manuscripts and incunabula and its extensive historical holdings, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek forms part of the most important heritage institutions of the world.

Objects from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek may be borrowed for exhibitions. With respect to this, conservational and security standards and provisions have to be observed which are in line with the value, the importance, and the materiality of the objects.

1. Applying for a loan

The request for the grant of a loan needs to be submitted as early as possible, however at the latest 9 months before the start of the exhibition,

  • by sending a letter to
    Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
    Department of Manuscripts and Rare Books
    Ludwigstrasse 16
    80539 Munich
  • or by sending an e-mail to

For the request the following documents have to be filled in:

We will confirm receipt of your documents promptly. As soon as all required documents have been received, we can inform you about the costs and the object-specific requirements that will be included in the loan contract. All provisions will be laid down in the loan contract in legally binding manner. The signed loan contract must be submitted to the lender 4 weeks prior to the start of the loan period at the latest.

2. General conditions

  • The maximum loan term is 3 months.
  • No loans can be granted to individual persons or private institutions, for touring exhibitions and sales exhibitions, as well as fairs.
  • The objects must be clearly related to the topic of the exhibition.
  • Objects of very high value and importance will be loaned only in exceptional cases.
  • Objects that are not fit for transport or display due to their sensitiveness and their state are excluded from loan.
  • A rest period of 3 years is provided for the exhibits following each exhibition.
  • In cases where no full coloured digital copy is already in existence that reproduces the item on loan as truly to the original as possible, this digital copy must be produced prior to the loan at the cost of the borrower.
  • Objects which are still available commercially or are present, for example, at a library closer to the place of exhibition, are usually not made available for loan.
  • In the event of a breach of the contractual agreements, the loan contract may be terminated prematurely by the lender.

3. Security

  • The exhibition rooms and storage facilities must have adequate fire protection.
  • Depending on the object, alarm signals indicating fire in or burglary of the exhibition rooms must be transmitted directly to the professional fire department or directly to the police or to an internal security center.
  • For fighting fire, extinguishing systems must be used that are gentle on the objects.
  • During the opening hours, supervisory staff has to be present in the exhibition rooms.
  • Possible additional security provisions (for example video surveillance capable of night vision, alarm systems on display cases) must be observed.

4. Conservational requirements

  • The maximum illumination level impinging on the item on loan must not exceed 50 lux.
  • UV radiation (wavelengths smaller than 400 nanometres) must be eliminated.
  • Light sources in the vicinity of the object must not emit heat.
  • The temperature to which the item on loan is subjected must be between 18 and 22 °C constantly. The daily fluctuation must not exceed a maximum of 3 °C.
  • The relative air humidity to which the item on loan is subjected must be between 45 and 55 % RH constantly. The daily fluctuation must not exceed a maximum of 3 % RH.
  • The climate values must be captured continuously during the mounting, the display and the dismounting with the aid of recently calibrated measuring devices. The regular submission of dated climate values may be requested; concrete provisions on the type of climate control and on the reading out of the data may be stipulated.
  • The items on loan may be presented exclusively in locked and dust-proof display cases. Depending on the object, the display cases must be made of laminated safety glass.
  • The fittings of display cases and presentation devices must be acid-free and must not emit any harmful substances (e.g. acids, solvents). The materials used in the construction of display cases (body, interior fittings, paints, lacquers, silicones, etc.) must be agreed with the lender.

Deviating or additional conservational requirements may be stipulated for individual items on loan. Such requirements will be stated in the loan contract.

5. Handling of the items on loan and presentation

  • The borrower should have particular expert knowledge and professionalism in handling particularly sensitive written cultural goods.
  • The items on loan may be used exclusively for the agreed purpose of exhibition. They must be handled exclusively by qualified restoration staff and must be treated with utmost care. No use by third parties is permitted.
  • The type of presentation in the exhibition and the measures required for this purpose (e.g. framing, mounting, book props, opening angle and inclination angle) are predetermined by the lender.
  • The ownership information for the items on loan must be stated completely in each case in the following form: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich, shelfmark.
  • The items on loan should be mounted only on the day before the opening of the exhibition where possible.

6. Packaging and transport

  • The transport of the items on loan takes place immediately before the start of the exhibition and directly after the end of the exhibition. Storage for a longer time is not possible.
  • The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek predetermines the type of packaging and transport.
  • The transport of valuable objects is usually carried out by an experienced art transport service accepted by the lender and is accompanied by a courier of the lender.
  • The courier acts as the lender’s agent and is also in charge of verifying the contractually agreed conditions on site.

7. Insurance, liability and immunity from seizure

  • Items on loan must be insured via the blanket policy of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek with Aon Versicherungsmakler Deutschland GmbH, Aon Artscope, Munich. To institutions of the Free State of Bavaria the principle of self-insurance of the Free State is applicable.
  • The premium will be invoiced by the insurance company directly to the borrower and must be paid directly by the borrower to the insurance company.
  • The borrower assumes full liability for the items on loan and, irrespective of the existence of insurance, will be held liable for all damages to the objects occurring within the framework of the loan or for their loss.
  • The lender must be notified immediately of any increase of risk, damage or change of the state of the items on loan and/or of the place of exhibition. The emergency agreement pursuant to the loan contract must be complied with.
  • For exhibitions abroad, an additional immunity from seizure is required for top-class items on loan, which declaration must be requested by the borrower.

8. Reproductions and publications

  • The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek provides digital reproductions of the items on loan upon request by and for the account of the borrower.
  • The copies can be used (in analogue and digital form) for reproductions, catalogues, and within the scope of public-relations work. Details are regulated in the loan contract or in an independent agreement.
  • In all digital and analogue publications the ownership information for the loan must be stated completely in each case in the following form: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich, shelfmark. When images of the item on loan are used on the Internet and within the scope of social media, links to the corresponding platforms of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek must be provided in addition.
  • The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek must be informed in advance about photographs and film recordings to be produced by the borrower or by third parties during the term of the exhibition. The conservational provisions (no flashlight, etc.) must be observed without fail with respect to this. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek reserves the right to prohibit recordings of any type.

9. Costs

The borrower pays all costs incurred within the framework of the loan. Costs may be incurred in the following areas:

  • Insurance
  • Digitization
  • Provision of reproductions
  • The costs of restoration are usually borne by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. In the event that the resources required for the loan provision are substantial, however, the costs must be borne by the borrower.
  • Production of protective cases, frames, mounts, etc.
  • Transport:
    • Packaging
    • Tariffs
    • Transport services
  • Escort by courier:
    • Per-diem allowance
    • Lump-sum payment for lost working hours and use of local public transport (€ 260.00 per day)
    • Accommodation
    • Travel expenses. In the case that flights are included, a business class ticket is booked for the courier. In the case that the item on loan is transported in the carry-on luggage, an additional seat is required.


All questions in the preliminary stages of making a loan request can be discussed with the registrar of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Please send your questions exclusively to: