Exhibition and Loan Guidelines

The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary is pleased to loan works from its collections to a range of cultural institutions (museums, libraries) for display in their own exhibitions. Guidelines for potential borrowers are found below:

Submission of Loan Request and General Guidelines
All requests to borrow items must be made in writing to Dr. David Kraemer, Joseph J. and Dora Abbell Librarian and professor of Talmud and Rabbinics (dakraemer@jtsa.edu), no less than six months prior to the borrower's exhibition installation date. All requests will be subject to conservation review, and items will generally be loaned for no more than three months. Exhibitions in excess of three months' duration will be considered with page turning or rotation of objects.

The borrower must provide the following information before we can consider a request:

  1. Exhibition title
  2. Opening and closing dates
  3. Brief description of exhibition theme
  4. Full description of requested objects, including title, author or artist, and JTS catalog number
  5. Institution names and dates for additional venues to which objects may travel
  6. Completed American Association of Museums (AAM) Standard Facilities Report


The Library will make suitable packing arrangements for the borrowed objects.

Borrower is responsible for all loan costs, including but not limited to preparation, framing, book mounts, conservation treatment, transport, crate construction / packing, shipping, customs brokers / documentation, and courier expenses (flights, hotel, per diem).

The borrowing institution will be responsible for arranging to hire a fine-arts transportation company, subject to the final approval of The Library.

We will require a courier to hand carry the items to and from the exhibit. The courier will be transported to your museum. This process will be repeated when the exhibition closes and the courier returns to de-install the objects. The courier must be present for the installation and de-installation of all items, as well as for page turns (unless otherwise agreed upon by The Library).

The items must be installed and de-installed by our courier or by your conservator with our courier present. Who will do the installation and de-installation will be determined in advance.

Borrowed items must be handled only by museum, archival, or library professionals on the borrowing institution's staff, their accredited representatives, or JTS Library staff.

The borrowing institution must notify us in advance if a case containing our loaned item is going to be opened or moved, thus providing us the opportunity to decide whether a representative of The Library need be present.

The Library will provide an appraisal of the worth of the items to be borrowed.

Borrower must contract for wall-to-wall, all-risk fine-arts insurance coverage in US dollars, for each object for its fully assigned value as provided by The Library. Borrower will provide a Certificate of Insurance naming The Jewish Theological Seminary as an insured. Such coverage must be in effect thirty (30) days prior to and after the dates of the exhibition.

Preparation / Conservation Treatment
The Library will prepare all objects (including fabricating book mounts), so that the borrower receives them "exhibition ready." All preparation of items for loans must be performed by The Library. Any costs incurred for the display of borrowed items and their preparation/conservation are the borrower's responsibility.

Light levels must be restricted to a maximum of 50 lux. A light-meter reading will be taken by a member of your staff after the installation of our items, so that our courier can confirm the light levels. If the cases are internally lit, fiber optic lighting may be utilized. All fluorescent lighting must have ultraviolet filters surrounding the lighting element. If LED lighting is utilized, detailed specifications must be provided along with the name of the manufacturer. No flash photography is permitted. Our items may be exhibited only in an area where there is no natural sunlight.

A range of 45 to 50 percent relative humidity (RH) and a temperature of approximately 68°F will be maintained while the objects are in storage at the museum. The items must be displayed in a climate-controlled environment kept at 68°F (+/-2°F) and an RH between 45 and 50 percent. Any vitrine that is utilized for our items will be fitted with silica-gel tiles conditioned to approximately 45 to 50 percent relative humidity. A humidity monitoring strip or a hygrometer must be placed in the vitrine to confirm that the relative humidity is maintained at 45 to 50 percent. The vitrine must be sealed to prevent the relative humidity from fluctuating.

Any loss, damage, or deterioration of borrowed objects occurring in transit or on exhibition shall be reported immediately to The Library. All incidents must be documented in photograph and written form. Except in the case of emergency, objects shall not be removed from the display cases, repaired, conserved, mended, or otherwise treated without The Library's prior written approval.

The items may not be photographed. We will supply you with scans of the object(s) solely for publicity purposes and for a catalog, if one is produced. You may have a one-time nonexclusive license to reproduce the items in a catalog, with the understanding that these items may not be further reproduced without our prior approval. The credit line describing our items should read: "Courtesy of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary." All [published] images or texts must be identified with the JTS Library catalog number (such as manuscript number) or some suitable substitute (a common title, such as "The Prato Haggadah"), which must be approved by The Library. Please let us know if you want scans. If a catalog is produced, two copies of the catalog should be sent to us.

Borrower may make a photographic record of the exhibition cases and installation.

In the event the borrower cancels the loan request, borrower is responsible for a cancellation fee for each object as well as any exhibition preparation costs already incurred.

Borrowing Costs
Please note that the Loan Fee of $100.00 per object / per venue is not negotiable. Each page or part of an object that is prepared for loan is counted as one object for loan fees. For example, a manuscript with three pages, all of which are borrowed and displayed on exhibition, equals three objects: $100.00 x 3 = $300.00.

The following table includes all standard loan fees. Unusual items or requests will be subject to an independent agreement between The Library and the borrower.

Loan Fee


per object / per venue

Requests Made Less than Six Months in Advance


per object (in addition to loan fee)

Preparation / Conservation Treatment


per hour

Fabrication–Book Mount


per mount, depending on size

Cancellation Fee


per object



per object, depending on size

For further information, please contact Hector Guzman by email or at (212) 678-8075.