Loans of Artifacts for Exhibition

Who considers requests for the loan of material from the LOA collections?

Requests for the loan of materials from the collections in the Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA) are considered by the LOA Committee. Requests should be made in writing to the Director, Laboratory of Archaeology, Anthropology and Sociology, UBC. The LOA will present requests for loans to the applicable First Nations for their consideration. Both LOA and the First Nations groups must approve a loan.

What factors affect LOA’s decision?

Factors affecting the approval of loan requests include: the approval of applicable First Nations communities; the purpose of the loan; the venue, its environmental and security conditions; the context in which the materials will be used; the time allowed for processing the request; the condition of the material requested; and any conditions on the loan requested by the First Nations communities involved; and the duration of the exhibit.

How long does the approval process take?

Many months. LOA’s internal process and consultation with relevant First Nations groups may take more time than one might expect and we appreciate having at least three months notice. Time may also be needed to accommodate First Nations conditions placed on a loan.

If approved, requests for loans outside British Columbia must also allow at least two weeks for preparation of export documents and government approvals to be obtained.

Is there material that will not be considered for loan?

Human remains, and materials found in association with those remains, will not knowingly be exhibited in any public venue without permission from all relevant First Nations groups. Objects in fragile condition will not be loaned.

What information should accompany the initial loan request?

The loan request should include the following:

  • Contact information for correspondence.
  • Name of institution requesting the loan.
  • Purpose of the loan; name of the exhibit.
  • Specific list of material requested including artifact numbers and descriptions.
  • How the material will be used in the exhibit including proposed labels.
  • Dates of the exhibit.
  • Facility report for each proposed venue.
  • Confirmation of acceptance of all costs of the loan including wall-to-wall fine arts insurance, crating and transportation expenses.

How will borrower know if the loan request is approved?

When a loan request is approved, the Director of the LOA Committee will send a letter stating approval is given and any conditions placed by the First Nations, and confirming the material approved. After the letter is sent, an Agreement will be drawn up for the material that will indicate the responsibilities of the borrower and the costs to the borrower associated with processing the loan.

What costs might the borrower incur?

Borrower fees that may apply to a loan include:

  • Administration fee ($100 per object approved for loan in Canada; $150 per object approved for international loan, including USA).
  • Additional administration fees may apply for traveling Exhibitions (at cost).
  • Cost of all work required to prepare the loan, including but not limited to: conservation, mount making, outside appraisals, packing, materials and supplies.
    • Conservation and mount making, if required on artifacts before they can be loaned, ($75 per hour plus costs for materials). Whenever possible, LOA will attempt to reuse existing mounts and packing materials.
    • Packing of Fragile or Over-sized Objects ($75 per hour plus any costs for new crates, etc).
    • Outside appraisal (at cost) if needed to evaluate objects for insurance purposes.
    • Customs and broker expenses (at cost).
    • Shipping (at cost). It is the borrower’s responsibility to arrange for payment. Shipping arrangements will be negotiated between LOA and the borrower to meet LOA’s standards.
  • Courier (at cost). If a courier is required by the LOA/First Nations communities to accompany the requested objects, the borrower is responsible for paying transportation and per diem expenses of the courier.
  • Customs expenses (at cost) for loans to USA/International venues.

What are the insurance requirements for materials loaned out?

Borrowers can expect to incur some costs related to the provision of insurance for material loaned out. Exact costs and implementation of insurance coverage will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

When should material on loan be returned?

Material on loan must be returned to LOA on or before the end-date and time specified in the Loan Agreement.


Acknowledgements will include the First Nations communities granting approval of the loan and the UBC Laboratory of Archaeology. Please use the following credit lines and include the LOA catalogue number for each object.

  • Name of the First Nation(s) granting approval for loan.
  • UBC Laboratory of Archaeology, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Artifact number.


Valuation of Archaeological Material

The Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA) adheres to the professional archaeological practice of discouraging any financial assessment of archaeological artifacts in order to combat the illicit sale of artifacts and site vandalism.