Exhibition Loan Policy

General Overview

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will lend materials from its collections to recognized institutions, such as museums and libraries, provided they have established exhibition programs and a professional staff qualified to handle the materials requested.  Materials are never loaned to individuals. Traveling exhibitions will be considered but the Academy reserves the right to limit the loan to the original venue, or to stipulate that certain objects in an exhibition cannot travel to multiple venues.

Each loan request is judged on its own merits and the final decision to loan items for exhibition is based on the following criteria:

  • The condition of the requested items as determined by the Academy’s conservation staff
  • The nature and length of the exhibition
  • The educational value of the exhibition
  • The anticipated need of the items for the Academy’s own research or exhibition purposes

Original items from the Academy’s collections that may be borrowed for exhibition include:

  • Film posters
  • Production art (costume and production design drawings, animation art)
  • Special collections materials (scripts, storyboards, memos, letters, production materials)
  • Published materials (books, magazines, clippings, pressbooks)
  • Original photographic prints*
  • Artifacts (cameras, matte paintings, three-dimensional objects, costumes)
  • Oscar statuettes

*Except in certain cases, the Academy does not loan its original photographic prints for exhibition.  Institutions are instead encouraged to order digital scans or custom photographic prints from the Academy’s Photograph Archive. 

Original materials from the Academy’s collections are limited to exhibition periods of three to six months, depending on the object.  For exhibition, the Academy requires that all original items be framed or housed in an appropriate encapsulation, mat, case or cradle.  All framing and other preparation will be done by Academy staff prior to shipping, at the borrower’s expense and to the Academy’s specifications.  The Academy reserves the right to determine when original materials must be accompanied by a courier from the Academy staff.  In those cases, the borrower will pay all of the courier’s travel costs.

Requests to borrow Oscar statuettes will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Oscar statuettes are subject to very specific handling, security and insurance requirements, factors that should be taken into consideration by borrowers when they make their request.  For more information, contact the Academy registrar.

Research and Selection

The Academy maintains numerous databases that will assist with preliminary research.  In addition, however, curators or assistants working on their behalf are strongly encouraged to contact the Academy staff when an exhibition is in the planning stages.  This is the best way to assure that the curator starts the process with a complete understanding of the Academy’s holdings and how to access them.

Many items in the Academy’s collection, such as posters and costume and production design drawings, have been digitized and may be viewed online.  Curators looking for specific items from these collections should start by exploring these databases and compiling lists of preliminary selections.  A final item list based on this online research may then be included with the loan request.

Some photographs are also available for viewing online, though researchers should bear in mind that the vast majority of the Academy’s photograph collection has not been digitized.  Curators who are interested in photographs but are unable to visit the library to conduct their own research may be able to obtain assistance from the National Film Information Service.  This is a fee- based service handled via email and regular mail.

Loan Requests

Loan requests must be submitted in writing to the Academy registrar at least six months before the requested loan date.  Loan requests received less than six months before the requested date are considered but subject to additional fees.

The loan request should include the following information:

  • The exhibition title and dates, and a description of the institution making the request.
  • The name and affiliation of the curator and/or designer of the exhibition.
  • A detailed list of the items requested.
  • A statement describing the exhibition, including its intellectual content and educational value.  This statement should also indicate what percentage of the exhibition will be comprised of items (originals and reproductions) from the Academy’s collections.   
  • The proposed loan dates, taking into account travel, installation and deinstallation.
  • Information about any publications planned in conjunction with the exhibition, including catalogs, web sites, postcards, etc.
  • A copy of the institution’s latest Facilities Report.

Loan Fees and Other Expenses

If the loan request is approved, the Academy will supply the borrower with a loan agreement.  At that time, the borrower will agree to the following fees and charges:

  • An administrative fee of $150 will be charged for each original item borrowed.  Loan requests received less than six months before the requested date are subject to additional fees determined by the scope of the request.
  • The borrower will be charged for any conservation procedures that may be necessary in order to prepare an item for loan, or for photographing an item for conservation purposes. These additional fees will be disclosed to the borrower before a loan agreement is signed.
  • The borrower will be charged for all costs necessary to make the objects ready for exhibition, including matting and framing, and when necessary the manufacture of special boxes and display cradles. All preparations for exhibition will be performed before shipping by or under the direction of the Academy staff and to its specifications.
  • The Academy reserves the right to determine when materials must be accompanied by a courier from the Academy staff.  In those cases, the borrower will pay all of the courier’s travel costs, including airfare, ground transportation, accommodations and meals for a three-night minimum stay.
  • The borrower will assume all responsibility for the cost of shipping, including packing and crating, freight costs, customs charges and broker’s fees. All preparations for shipment will be performed by or under the direction of the Academy staff and to its specifications.
  • If an exhibition is cancelled after a loan agreement has been signed, the borrower will be responsible for paying any costs incurred for conservation and preparation, as well as a cancellation fee of $25 per item.

Insurance

Once the loan agreement is signed, the borrower must provide written proof of insurance covering the Academy’s objects during the duration of the loan period.  Borrowers may be required to pay the costs of appraising materials for insurance purposes.

Use of Reproductions

Some objects in the Academy’s collections are not available for loan, including those judged too fragile or too environmentally sensitive to travel.  If the loan of originals is not approved, the borrowing institution may have the option of requesting high-quality facsimiles or digital scans of materials from the Academy’s collections.   In these cases the borrower is responsible for all reproduction and shipping costs.  To inquire about exhibiting reproductions from the Academy’s collections, please contact the registrar.

Credits and Permissions

The borrower will provide full credit to the Academy in all text related to the exhibition, including labels, catalogs, press releases and announcements. The exact wording to be used will be included in the loan agreement.  

When an exhibition catalog or pamphlet is published, the borrower will provide three copies to the Academy.  Written permission is necessary when the borrower publishes images from the Academy’s collections.  Please note that additional permissions from third parties may be required when the borrower publishes images from the Academy’s collections. The borrower assumes the responsibility for obtaining all necessary permissions from copyright holders before publishing photographs or facsimiles of any items borrowed from the Academy.

Contact Information

Loan requests and other queries may be submitted by email to registrar@oscars.org