National Programmes
Conference and Seminars

Over the last six years the British Museum has held an annual conference focused on partnerships in the museum sector.

The British Museum regularly hosts lectures, seminars and conferences, but the National Programmes is sector-facing, with a focus of working across the UK.

The annual conference is designed to be a networking opportunity and a chance to inspire new partnership activity. We want to make sure that the conference is relevant and useful to the museum representatives who attend.

We are open to ideas and suggestions for the annual conference. For more information contact Georgia Mallin, UK Partnerships Coordinator:

Lecture theatre

31 August 2017

Get what you give? The value and benefits of proactively lending collections

The British Museum's National Programmes team, with the generous support of the Vivmar Foundation, is hosting a free one-day conference on Thursday 31 August 2017, exploring the subject of lending museum collections.

Conference Scope

Lending is a vibrant part of our sector, and museums’ capacity to borrow from each other is being substantially increased thanks to recent initiatives such as Arts Council England’s ‘Ready to Borrow’ grants programme, the Touring Exhibitions Group’s 'Preparing to Borrow' initiative, and the Art Fund Weston Loans Programme.

How we can make the most of these opportunities and get more collections on the move? This conference aims to explore how UK museums of every size, as well as non-museum spaces with collections, can be encouraged and supported to proactively lend to each other and to borrow from wider sources.

Conference Programme

The programme for the day is currently in development, but will include a range of sessions exploring the following themes though presentations, workshops, discussion and debate:

  • · The role of public and private collections, with a keynote presentation from Museums Sheffield on their major project ‘Going Public’.
  • · Models for touring and lending, with a keynote presentation from Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on their dispersed exhibition ‘Hadrian’s Cavalry’, and new research from the Touring Exhibitions Group.
  • · Partnerships and collaborations, with case studies, Q&A sessions and a discussion workshop. Speakers include Imperial War Museums, the DeMorgan Foundation and the National Trust, Tate, and Two Temple Place.
  • · Innovation and experimentation, with case studies, Q&A sessions and a discussion workshop. Speakers include the Freemasonry Museum, Cheshire West Museums, and Leeds Museums & Galleries.
  • · Practice, skills and logistics, with participatory workshops, funding case studies and presentations from the Arts Council England and the Art Fund, and practical advice surgeries on loans, managing risk, registrarial work and touring exhibitions.

Information for delegates

This event is free to attend and open to anyone working in or with UK Museums. Tickets can be reserved via Eventbrite

The day will be suitable for delegates who are museum professionals and volunteers, especially those working in exhibitions, loans, collections management, partnerships, sector development and curation; cultural sector body representatives; academics; freelance practitioners; and people working in the creative and digital industries with a relevance to the museum sector.

A limited number of travel bursaries are available for delegates for whom travel costs would be prohibitive. Please contact Georgia Mallin, UK Partnerships Co-ordinator, to apply: