Museums Partnership Reports track collection sharing by 22 national museums 3 Aug 2021

DCMS has published two reports describing the extent of collection sharing by 22 national museums from 2018 to 2020, running into the pandemic period only in the final month of reporting. Figures show that:

  • In 2018-19 national museums lent 68,049 objects to 2,049 venues for display, which were seen by at least 32.8 million people. 61,533 were displayed in the UK. A further 316,064 objects were lent to 6,314 institutions for research purposes.
  • In 2019-20 national museums made 2,290 loans of 71,205 objects, which were seen by at least 35.7 million people. 59,870 were displayed in the UK. An additional 499,973 objects went on loan to institutions for research purposes. This shows a 4.4% increase in object lending and 8% increase in audience compared to the previous year.

The resourcing for these loans comes largely from national museums themselves, backed up by funding from ACE, NLHF and the Art Fund’s Weston Loan Programme, and underpinned by the Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief. During 2020, loans include social history items that were shared by National Museums Liverpool with the Atkinson, as part of Sefton’s year as Borough of Culture in the city region. Since autumn 2019, the British Library’s Treasures on Tour programme has lent ten spotlight loan objects, including a manuscript of George Eliot’s Middlemarch to Coventry and Nuneaton on the 200th anniversary of her birth. (2019-20), (2018-19)