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USB loan in "A class of its own. Nobility on the Rhine and Ruhr" from December 13, 2021 to July 31, 2022 at the RuhrMuseum Essen, Photo: H. Schoel

We are happy to contribute our holdings to exhibitions in museums, documentation and cultural institutions.

We would like to make it as easy as possible for you to process your request. Please complete the "Loan request" form. It is important that you read and accept the "Loan conditions", which are also included in the form:

Leihanfrage und "Bedingungen für die Überlassung" (PDF, 96KB)

and send it by post to:

Universitäts- und Stadtbibliohtek Köln
Historical holdings and collections,
Preservation and Digitization / Loans
Universitätsstr. 33
50931 Cologne

or via e-mail to:

As soon as we have all the information and there are no conservation or content-related reasons against a loan, we draw up a loan agreement. Among other things, it contains the insurance costs incurred and specific requirements for the presentation of our loans.  Please remember that the loan agreement must be signed and received by us at least 4 weeks before the planned start of your exhibition! Also important: The insurance confirmation must be received by us by the day of collection at the latest, otherwise it will not be possible to loan the items.


1. General conditions

To ensure that your planning runs smoothly, there are a few important conditions to bear in mind.

  •     The loan period is usually a maximum of 6 months.
  •     Please note that items on loan are not available for individuals, private institutions, traveling or sales exhibitions or trade
  •     Objects of exceptional value and importance are only lent out in exceptional cases.
  •     As a rule, objects that are still commercially available or available in libraries closer to the exhibition venue are not made
        available on loan.
  •     The loan agreement can be terminated prematurely by us if contractual agreements are not adhered to.


2. Safety

The security of the loaned items is our top priority. Please enclose a facility report showing that

  •     the rooms in which the exhibition takes place and the depots offer adequate fire protection.
  •     depending on the type of property, alarms for fire or burglary are transmitted directly to the professional fire department,
        the police or an internal security center.
  •     supervisors are always present in the exhibition rooms during opening hours.
  •     in some cases, additional security measures such as night vision video surveillance or showcase alarms may be required.


3. Conservation requirements

We attach great importance to the preservation of our exhibits. These are our conservation requirements:

  •     The illuminance on the objects on loan must not exceed 50 lux.
  •     UV radiation (wavelengths of less than 400 nanometers) must be avoided at all costs.
  •     Light sources in the vicinity of the objects must not emit any heat.
  •     The temperature of the items on loan should remain constant at between 18 and 22 °C, with daily fluctuations of no more
        than 3 °C permitted.
  •     The relative humidity of the items on loan should also remain constant at between 45 and 55%, with daily fluctuations of
        no more than 3%.
  •     The items on loan must be presented in sealed, dust-proof display cases. Depending on the object, these must be made of
        laminated safety glass (LSG).
  •     The materials used in display cases and for presentation must be acid-free and must not emit any harmful substances.


4. Presentation of the loans

Careful handling of the exhibits is of great importance:

  •     The borrower should have specialist knowledge and professionalism in handling sensitive cultural assets.
  •     The items on loan may only be used for the agreed exhibition purpose. Only specialist restoration staff may handle them.
  •     Proof of ownership of the items on loan must be given in full in the form "Universitäts- und Stadtbibliothek Köln, Signatur: ...".


5. Packaging and transportation

The packaging and transportation of the loans require special attention:

  •     The loaned items are packed in our bookbindery so that they are safe for transportation.
  •     Transportation takes place immediately before the start or immediately after the end of the exhibition.
  •     Longer storage is not possible


6. Advertising

Together for more visibility.

On our website "Books on tour" we show in which exhibitions our books have been shown. If you agree to this and send us a printed and digitized exhibition poster, we will be happy to advertise your exhibition on our website and as a poster in the foyer under "Cultural programme". This will help us to publicize your exhibition and at the same time draw attention to our valuable book collection. Books on tour >>

Do you have any further questions or need help? Then please do not hesitate to contact us.