Image Credit: Ceramic beer bottle, Victoria Brewery


Registration Office

The main goal of the Registration Office is to register and document the permanent collection (including new acquisitions) as well as temporary loans that may be coming or going for exhibitions or research. We use specialized collections management software to integrate and automate collections documentation for the various disciplines at the museum. We work in collaboration with a number of other sections, including Conservation, Human History, Natural History, Public Programming and Exhibits.

We negotiate the fine details of both incoming and outgoing loans for research and exhibits, including the loan agreements, insurance, packing and shipping arrangements, and standards of care. We manage activities for the Collections Committee operation, and handle the documentation associated with acquisitions, such as deed of gifts forms, thank-you letters and tax receipts. We also manage the corporation’s files relating to acquisitions, deaccessioning or outgoing transfers of objects, as well as the museum’s institutional CITES (Endangered Species) permit, and we arrange for any other cultural property or wildlife permits and documentation that may be required when any objects, specimens or records travel across international borders. We provide liaison between museum functions such as Conservation and Exhibits, when objects are borrowed for temporary exhibits.

A day in the life of a registrar might include attending a planning meeting, assisting with the installation of an exhibit, creating digital photographs of artifacts, performing data entry functions, packing artifacts for a loan, developing a standards policy, providing a statistical analysis of a collections profile, assisting with the inventory of artifacts at our one of our off-site warehouses or performing preventative conservation assessments or treatments to archival records. The work often involves the use of technology, but it is the human touch and a passion for the work that is the essential ingredient we bring to the tasks at hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can borrow artifacts from the Royal BC Museum and what kind of materials can be borrowed?

Loans of catalogued objects, specimens and archival records may be made to other public institutions for scholarly, educational or exhibit purposes, provided there is assurance that the objects loaned will receive an acceptable level of care and security. Loans are not made to individuals.

How does one start a loan inquiry?

Please click on the Loan Requests button at the top of this page. Requests for loans must be made in writing to the senior registrar and must include a description of the intended use of the materials, the duration of the loan period, the location of the venue and the object list (including catalogue numbers and discipline, if possible).

How much time does it take?

Sufficient lead-time is required to ensure that evaluation and approvals, inventory, condition reporting, documenting and packaging can be completed. Generally speaking, 18 months of lead-time is needed for us to process a loan request from beginning to end.

What is the maximum length of a loan term?

The duration of each loan shall be specified and will not exceed a continuous period of two years. When appropriate, a renewal period may be negotiated, prior to the return date. The total time that a loan can be out must not exceed 5 years. Renewals may be granted if sufficient notice is given, and opportunity provided for inventory checking, condition reporting and renewal of the contractual agreements. The Royal BC Museum reserves the right to inspect borrowed materials at any time and to recall the loan if conditions are not being met.

Will I need insurance?

We require that the objects loaned be insured from the time they leave the Royal BC Museum to the time they return, at the borrower’s expense. The type, level of insurance, including the insurance value of the items, will be determined by the Royal BC Museum.

What about costs?

Costs associated with the processing of a loan may be borne by the Borrower. This may include but not be limited to:

  • staff time for documentation and preparation of objects
  • insurance expenses including the cost of external appraisals
  • condition reporting, framing, mount making and treatment
  • packing and crating materials and labour
  • shipping costs
  • unpacking, inspection and condition reporting at conclusion of loan

Labour costs will be assessed at the specific hourly rate of RBCM staff or approved contractors. An estimate of charges will be provided prior to the signing of the loan agreement.

What about rights and permissions?

All loans must be properly credited as stipulated in the Loan Agreement. Permission must be received in writing if the borrower wishes to photograph or reproduce a borrowed object. Licensing fees and agreements for use in publications may apply.

Can I borrow items from the Natural History collections?

Yes. Please visit the Natural History loan request page for more information.

Get in Touch

Angelica Pass
Associate Registrar