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Loan Procedures

Thank you for considering borrowing collections items from the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS). KHS welcomes requests from institutions of all sizes, both in-state and out-of-state. Following are the basic procedures for requesting a loan from KHS. Please let our registration department know if you have any questions about the process or need help getting started.


Hannah Mahnken, Registrar



Starting the Process

To start the loan process, KHS requires:

A formal letter of request that outlines the item(s) you would like to borrow along with some basic information about the exhibition. This information should include:

  • When the loan will begin and when it will end
  • Purpose of the loan
  • Description of how the item(s) will be used for the exhibit
  • An American Association of Museums Standard Facilities Report/General Facilities Report.
  • Sales tax exemption certificate (for non-profit organizations)

Please allow a minimum of 8 weeks processing time for any loan request.

Next Steps

Once KHS has received your official request, our collections committee will review it.

To make a decision the committee considers:

  • Availability of the item(s)
  • Item’s condition
  • Information provided in the standard facilities report

The collections committee meets monthly to review loan requests. As soon as the collections committee has made a decision, the registrar will contact you to let you know if the committee has approved the loan.

If a loan is approved, KHS requires a certificate of insurance to be on file before the loan is shipped.

Loan fees will vary from loan to loan. Please see the loan fee schedule below for all applicable fees.

The registration department will make arrangements with the borrowing institution for pick-up/shipping, etc. The borrowing institution will be responsible for any shipping costs.


Please note that KHS staff works several weeks in advance to do condition reports and prepare for shipping. KHS requires two weeks’ notice prior to the ship date in order to cancel the loan. When fewer than two weeks’ notice is provided, the borrower is still responsible for all loan fees. (Details below under “KHS Loan Fees.”)


Loan renewals are subject to the per-item fee at the time of renewal. The borrower will not be responsible for a new origination fee.

KHS Loan Fees

  • Loan Packaging Fee (In-State and Out-of-State Institutions): starts at $25
  • Loan Fee per Item (In-State Institutions): $25
  • Loan Fee per Item (Out-of-State Institutions): $50
  • Traveling exhibitions (Loan fee per item for each additional venue): $25

Loan fee waivers may be requested and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


The borrower will bear all shipping costs. This rate will vary based upon the type of shipper and materials.

If the borrower makes the shipping arrangements, KHS staff must approve them in advance of shipping.

Additional Fees

KHS will work to keep fees low. However, additional fees may apply. These may include:

Research Fee

Basic information on collections items, such as the provenance, is available without charge. However, KHS reserves the right to charge a research fee for additional research requested by the borrower.

Research Fee (In-State): $25/hour | Research Fee (Out-of-State): $40/hour


If a crate is required, the borrowing institution will be responsible for all fabrication charges.

If an object requires other types of special packaging, the borrowing institution will be responsible for the cost of the materials.

Preparation Charges

Framing: $25/hour plus cost of materials |  Mount Making: $25/hour plus cost of materials

Sales Tax

Non-profit organizations must submit a sales tax exemption certificate with their request. For-profit entities will be charged applicable sales tax.


The borrowing institution will be responsible for the conservation charges for an item that needs stabilization before it can go out on loan. This work will be done by a contractor and the fees may vary by object size and type.

Courier Expenses

If a courier is deemed necessary, the borrower will be responsible for the following charges:

  • Round-trip transportation between KHS and the borrower’s location (airfare must be business or first class when the courier accompanies the artifact but coach class is fine at all other times), parking, mileage, tolls and car/truck rental as appropriate. The borrower will be presented with receipts for all expenses.
  • Overnight accommodations, to be paid for and arranged by the borrower. If the courier needs to stay extra days for installation and acclimatization of the objects, accommodations will also be arranged and covered by the borrower.
  • Per diem for courier’s expenses, such as food, etc., that may vary based on location.

All loan fees may be paid to the Kentucky Historical Society via check, money order or credit card.