Loan Program

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R2-D2 Mailbox on loan to the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA

The National Postal Museum collections are lent for research and educational purposes. The Museum is committed to providing access to its collection of approximately six million objects representing philatelic and postal history through its loan program. The following information is meant to assist borrowing institutions when initiating loan requests.

Requesting a Loan

Apply in writing to the NPM Registrar at least one (1) year in advance of the loan start date. Requests should include a justification, list of objects, duration of exhibition, facility report, and any specific details related to the display of the objects.

Length of Loan

Requests can be made to borrow an object for display for up to one (1) year. The duration of a loan depends on the object’s condition and specific needs, including travel and display requirements, which are determined in advance by the Museum’s conservator.

Requests for an extension of a loan should be sent in writing at least six (6) months in advance of the loan expiration date. The Museum reserves the right to recall loaned objects on short notice if necessary.

Loan Approval

All loan requests are reviewed by curatorial, conservation, and registration staff.

NPM maintains a policy whereby borrowing institutions must bear costs incurred by a loan including preparation, crating, shipping, insurance, installation, and courier expenses.

Loan Agreement

The Borrower will be sent the Museum's Agreement for Outgoing Loan form to be completed and signed prior to final loan approval.


Registrar: Dawn Gorman Frank

Smithsonian Institution
National Postal Museum, MRC 570
P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012