Under the provisions of the Australian War Memorial Act 1980, the Memorial lends material from its collections to eligible museums, galleries, and other organisations for mutually agreed periods. The following conditions apply to all loans:

  1. To initiate a loan, a formal letter of request should be sent to the Memorial’s Director 18 – 24 months prior to the loan’s proposed start, stating the purpose of the loan, identifying the items sought, and noting the first and last dates they are required.
  2. Loans to overseas borrowers should be requested 24 – 36 months in advance and must comply with all requirements laid down in the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 and Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Regulations 1987 (as amended)
  3. A set fee of $150 per item applies to all loans, in addition to which borrowers are responsible for meeting all costs of packing, transport, and insurance.
  4. The Memorial does not lend original photographic, film, or sound materials. To obtain copies of Memorial-held photographs, film, or sound clips,  contact the Memorial’s e-sales team on (02) 6243 4542 or (02) 6243 4578 or via email at esales[@]awm.gov.au
  5. The loan of defence goods to an overseas borrower must comply with the Customs Act 1901 and the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (as amended), and will require a temporary export Permit or Approval in Principle to Export Defence Goods.
  6. The movement of collection material into or out of Australia must comply with Customs and Quarantine legislation and requirements.

For more detailed information on the processes and conditions of borrowing items from the Memorial’s collections, please see below.

Eligible borrowers

The Australian War Memorial’s commitment to providing access to the National Collection extends access through its Outward Loans program to organisations identified as eligible borrowers:

  • National, state, and regional institutions, including galleries, libraries, archives, and museums;
  • Overseas public museums, galleries, libraries and archives;
  • Service, command, corps, and regimental museums; 
  • Other venues, assessed on a case-by-case basis, and capable of demonstrating suitable environmental and security conditions.

Loan assessment criteria

Requests to borrow National Collection items should be acknowledged within 10 working days.

In acknowledging loan requests, the Memorial may seek additional information to determine if the loan can proceed. The decision to lend items will take into account these factors:

  • that the request is from an eligible borrower (see above);
  • that the venue will provide environmental, security, and WH&S conditions suitable for the items based upon its submission of a current Standard Facility and Security Report (see below);
  • that the loan’s purpose is consistent with the mission and purpose of the Memorial and current political sensitivities; and
  • The availability and condition of the item/s.

Venue assessment

Before a loan can be approved, the venue’s environmental, security, and WH&S conditions must be assessed as suitable for the safe delivery, storage, and display of National Collection items.  The information considered in this assessment, and sought from venues in Standard Facility and Security Reports, includes:

  • Building type/construction;
  • Climate and lighting parameters;
  • Security and surveillance arrangements;
  • Access for loan delivery and dispatch;
  • Pest and fire protection;
  • Insurance arrangements. Note that all borrowers will be required to either take out a separate insurance policy for loan items or to have their insurer note the loans on their current policy.

Loan approval and implementation

Within 10 working days of the Loans Officer’s receipt of a venue’s completed Standard Facility and Security Reports, the venue will be advised if it has been assessed as suitable for the temporary display of National Collection items. In addition, the Loans Officer will forward a Loan Agreement, identifying the items available for loan, describing the terms and conditions of the Memorial’s Outward Loans Program, and noting the total charges payable (based upon the per item loan fee plus packing and transport).  Please note that no work to prepare items for outward loan can commence before the loan fee has been paid.


For further information, please contact the Memorial’s Loans Officer on (02) 6243 4221.