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The Registrar’s Office tracks the movement and ensures safety of all special collections items being transported within the Library’s network of locations, regardless of the purpose of their movement. For information about special collection moves, contact the Library’s Registrar.
Registrars administer an active outgoing loan program that enables other qualified cultural institutions to borrow works from NYPL collections to enhance their own exhibitions. With stringent requirements for temperature, humidity, light levels, security, insurance coverage, and exhibition display, borrowing institutions must submit an acceptable facilities report in order to demonstrate their ability to properly care for our works.
NYPL individually prepares its own works going out on loan so that the objects are “exhibition ready” when they are received by the borrower. This includes cutting backing boards, constructing Plexiglas mounts, strapping books, building micro-climate enclosures, and framing prints or documents. For more comprehensive information, please see the Loan Program Guidelines.
Specialized handling and recordkeeping are vital to make certain that treasured book, manuscript, and art collections are exhibited safely. Extensive planning often begins years before an exhibition’s opening date. Budgets, legal contracts, and loan agreements are prepared and negotiated. Packing and shipping arrangements are coordinated for all external as well as NYPL division loans, including customs documentation for foreign loans. Appropriate insurance coverage is arranged through our fine arts insurance carrier, and all security arrangements are finalized.
Works are condition-reported upon receipt, issued temporary identification numbers, and prepared for display by conservators, framers and mount makers. Movement of collection works are tracked throughout the entire exhibition process. At the close of an exhibition, registrars dismantle the display, check the condition of the objects again and arrange for the secure return of loans to lenders and NYPL divisions in all research centers.
Registrarial advice is often sought by NYPL staff and representatives of borrowing and lending institutions on a variety of issues such as: security, insurance, conservation, environmental standards, storage, handling, and shipping of objects.