Old loans are a challenge for most museums – whether large or small. And, with other competing priorities, it is easy to let them linger. Solving your old loans will give you a sense of accomplishment as well as lower the risk of insurance claims or even more unpleasant your museum’s potential involvement in a fight between a lender’s heirs.
There are many factors to consider when starting on this journey including staff time, whether the object is wanted as a part of the collection, how much storage space you will gain by returning old loans, and finally if your institution will support an old loan return program.
Whether you are in the middle of working through your old loans or you hope to begin your project in the future, we hope to give you practical advice including some success and failures to save you from becoming too weary of becoming free of old loans.