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May 2024

Celebrating Museum Cooperation Through Loaned Objects

As International Museums Day is on 18 May, we are celebrating our inter-institution loans by looking at six items that have recently been on loan.

We had a busy year for a small museum for loans. In just one year the museum had four items out on loan and, in turn, borrowed two for display in South Georgia. Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding and cooperation. By loaning objects from museum collections we can give objects and their stories a wider audience.

The items loaned out for the ‘All Mortal Greatness’ exhibition


A whaler’s handcrafted knife, a pin badge for a sports team from the whaling ship Southern Harvester, and a whaler’s collection of photographs were loaned to the Scottish Maritime Museum. They were exhibited in the exhibition ‘All Mortal Greatness is but Disease’ which examined the largely forgotten history of Scotland’s industrial whaling.

The Habitat Restoration Chief Pilot’s flying helmet was loaned to the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.


A flying helmet used by the Chief Pilot on the SGHT/FOSGI Habitat Restoration Project was on loan to the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby to be shown in a special exhibition ‘Ice – Exploring the Far South’. Part of the exhibition explored the unintended consequences of early exploration, such as introduction of non-native species like the Brown Rat to South Georgia. Read more about the helmet:

The Quest crow’s nest on display as part of the ‘Shackleton’s Last Quest’ exhibition


In turn the South Georgia Museum borrowed the Quest crow’s nest from All Hallows by the Tower to be included in an exhibition to mark the centenary of the Shackleton Rowett Expedition (Quest Expedition). You can see the on-line version of this exhibition at

The Endurance Expedition lantern slides


Also on loan to the SG Museum, and remaining so until 2025, is a collection of 12 lantern slides from the Royal Geographical Society, London. The images were taken by Frank Hurley on Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (Endurance Expedition).

All these six loaned items have enabled South Georgia’s stories to be brought to life in new ways and in new places – something to be celebrated!