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Collections Use

The Nickle endeavors to provide outstanding support for scholarship, learning, and the creation of knowledge and is a key component of the University's excellence in research, teaching, international involvement, and return to communities. It is also a primary responsibility of Nickle Galleries to conserve its collections as a record of cultural heritage and to carry this out according to accepted professional museological standards.

Nickle Galleries makes every attempt to provide reasonable public access to the Permanent Collection. However, the Museum must maintain its responsibility for the safekeeping of the collection and seeks an acceptable balance between serving the community and the potential risk of damage or loss. The degree of accessibility will also of necessity be determined by the limitations of financial and staff resources.

Any use of the collection inevitably involves a certain amount of wear and tear on the objects, but if any specific use is judged to constitute a threat to the material fabric of a work, then the responsibility of conservation will take precedence.

The Museum shall not permit any use of the collection that is knowingly detrimental to the physical or aesthetic integrity of the works or to the reputation of Nickle Galleries or the University of Calgary.

Nickle collections are not available for commercial, non-educational use.

Objects from the Nickle's collections shall not be used as decorations for special events regardless of where the event occurs.

Objects are also not used to decorate University of Calgary spaces with the exception of the Executive Suites and the executive offices of Library and Cultural Resources. There may be cases of exceptions, under consideration of Nickle staff. The Nickle will consider the condition of the object, the security of the space, light exposure and other conservation concerns when determining which objects may be appropriate for the space(s). All handling and movement of objects will only be done by Nickle staff.


Access to collections is provided through exhibitions, loans, programs, events, tours, publications, collection records, visual resources and consultation with curatorial staff. General browsing of the Museum's collections is not allowed. Access to the collection may be requested for publication, research, web sites, electronic media, display, personal use and new reporting, for example. Access to and use of the collection is at the discretion of the relevant Curator, and is generally provided to any person who can demonstrate a need. Determining factors include:

  • Condition of the object
  • Risk to the object
  • Location
  • Security
  • Health and safety risks
  • Copyright
  • Artists' rights
  • Intended use
  • Expertise of the enquirer
  • Human and financial resources available

For security reasons, access to storage areas shall be limited to the absolute minimum number of Nickle staff members necessary to conduct Nickle business. The Nickle Registrar, Technicians or appropriate Curator will authorize non-Museum staff access to storage rooms on an as-needed basis, and will keep a log in order to document the admittance of non-Nickle persons into storage rooms.

Visitors wishing to view works in storage will be monitored by an authorized Museum staff member at all times. Staff may not be able to provide access to heavy or large objects, or objects stored in remote areas if access to these objects was not requested in advance and additional qualified staff are not available for retrieval assistance at that time. Although not optimal, there may be occasion when a class or group of researchers will be in the collection storage areas.

Outgoing Loan Considerations

The Nickle Galleries shall endeavor to provide reasonable public access to the collection through the facilitation of temporary loans of objects. In lending, Nickle Galleries's first concern is to maintain its responsibility for the safekeeping of the collection and to seek an acceptable balance between serving the community and the potential risk of damage or loss. (While every attempt will be made to provide public access to the collection, the degree of access will of necessity also be determined by financial and staff resources.)

Loans may be made for the purposes of exhibition, education, study, research and/or any other appropriate purpose at the discretion of Nickle Galleries staff. Objects will not be loaned for purposes deemed to be unethical, illegal or otherwise incompatible with professional museological standards. Objects will not be loaned for purposes deemed to be injurious to the reputations of Nickle Galleries or the University of Calgary.

Applications for Loans

Loan applications must be made in writing and must include the specific purpose, expected period of loan, all modes of transportation and/or handling and intended location. All applications will be reviewed against the standards of current professional museological criteria including:

  • the condition and age of the object(s) requested;
  • the environmental, lighting and security conditions of the intended location and required transportation;
  • the length of time for which the loan is requested;
  • the previous exhibition history of the object(s);
  • duplication of requests;
  • the value (market/historic/intrinsic) of the objects;
  • the reasonable expectation of the borrower's ability to fulfill obligations.

In the event that two loan applications are received for the same object for the same time period, priority will be given to the first written application. It is understood that all objects on temporary loan within the campus community may on occasion be withdrawn by Nickle Galleries staff for purposes of conservation, photography, or exhibition in a public gallery. All loan requests will be answered promptly by Nickle Galleries.


410 University Court N.W.
Calgary, Alberta
Canada, T2N 1N4
Phone: 403-220-7234
Fax: 403-210-3075

Upcoming Events

The Writing on the Wall: Works of Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert, RCA
Date & Time:
September 21, 2017 - 5:00 pm to September 21, 2017 - 8:00 pm