Loan Program


The Clinton Library’s loan program expands access to its archival and museum holdings and helps educate the public about the American national experience. As part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Clinton Presidential Library follows NARA guidelines for loans.  

NARA/Clinton Library Loan Guidelines

Who may obtain loans of NARA holdings for exhibition? Museums and cultural institutions, that have established exhibition programs, comply with National Archives security and environmental requirements, and have professional museum or archival staff proficient in handling the requested material may borrow items.

What criteria are used to approve and deny loan requests?  Each request for loan will be judged on its particular merits. We consider the institution’s reputation, its facility’s compliance with National Archives requirements, and the exhibition for which the loan is proposed in relation to the availability, importance, stability, uniqueness, and value of the material being requested.  If all standards are met, loan requests are considered on first-come, first-served basis.

What is the maximum exhibit period?  Original documents, artifacts, and other historical materials may be exhibited for up to one year. The National Archives may specify shorter periods due to the material of the holdings, or prior exhibit history.

What is the minimum exhibit period?   Exhibitions are usually 30 days or more to warrant the costs and risks associated with loans, travel and exhibition.  Shorter periods may be allowed for preservation purposes.  

What types of loan requests are not approved?  The National Archives does not lend materials for exhibitions staged primarily for fundraising or partisan purposes, or to market commercial products or corporations.

What types of holdings might not be approved for loan?  We may decline to lend certain items because of their condition, exhibition history, agency business needs, conflict with the National Archives’ mission or professional ethics or the failure of the facility to comply with our requirements.

What costs are typically associated with a loan of NARA’s holdings?   The Clinton Library does not charge for staff time for preparing loans. However, the borrowing institution is responsible for the costs of reproductions; preparation of items for exhibition and any necessary conservation work; NARA staff travel if a courier is required; packing and shipping if the items are being shipped; and fine arts insurance (policy to be approved by NARA staff).  Depending on whether reproductions, or original items are borrowed, how many are borrowed, and the historical value and fragility of the items, costs could range from $1-$50,000.

How to Request a Loan  Before submitting a formal request with the information listed below, borrowers should discuss costs and other likely requirements with staff at the Clinton Library. Sometimes another item from the holdings or a facsimile may be more appropriate. Send inquiries to the attention of the Curator at clinton.library@nara.gov.
 
The formal written request should be submitted at least 180 days prior to the loan and include the following:

  1. Title and purpose of the exhibition, brief description of content, the dates of exhibition, and profit/non-profit status of organizing institution
  2. If more than one venue, include location and opening and closing dates at each
  3. American Alliance of Museums General Facilities Report, if not already on file, for each venue
  4. Description of each item(s) being requested, including citation or object number or:
    – page openings for any volumes;
    – for multi–page manuscripts, description of which pages/sides of page to be displayed;
    – plans for exhibiting individual items, e.g. wall-hung frames, display case, etc.

Send the above information to the attention of the Curator at clinton.library@nara.gov.