Student Instrument Loans

Student Instrument Loans - Procedure


1. Please, email to enquire about availability, and set up a collection date and time to pick up the instrument. 

(In preliminary discussions the following points are established: a. Reason for loan;  b. Duration of loan; c. Possibility of loan: some instruments are not available to loan, some may be fragile or need care)

2. Download the Instrument Loan Form (below), complete the form and bring it to your appointment

3. Provide a letter from a Senior Referee/Tutor (Member of the Faculty/College)  and bring it to your appointment

4. Please pay the flat fee deposit of £100 as per museum regulations via the following link: Music Faculty - Bate Collection 

The deposit will be returned at the end of the academic year, given the instrument is returned without damage. Upon return of the instrument, the condition of the instrument is examined. If there is evidence of negligent handling or damage due to carelessness or accident the borrower will be interviewed as to circumstances of the damage. If it is evident that any damage is due to gross carelessness the deposit will not be returned and the borrower will be reported to the Faculty and College for disciplinary action. 

5. Please bring the Instrument Loan Form and the Letter of Support from a Senior Referee/Tutor to your appointment.

6. Attend your appointment, otherwise you will not be able to borrow your intrument.

7. Take care of the instrument that has been given to you: if you do take care of it, you will allow also other people after you to benefit from it. This is our music heritage and we have a duty to pass it on to the next generation, and beyond!

8. Enjoy playing the instrument!

9. Please, do remember to bring the instrument back on your due date. Failure to do so will result in other people not being able to borrow it and potential disciplinary action.


Please note:

- Orchestra ‘fixers’, concert organisers, and tutors cannot stand as intermediaries or signatories for instrument borrowers. 

- Michaelmas Term 2023: Instrument Collections days are Mondays, from 16th October 2023

Our range of musical instruments


1. Instruments provided by the Faculty of Music available for orchestral use

These instruments are in great demand and are loaned on a first come, first served basis.


2. Modern Copies

Replicas of historic instruments are sometimes available for loan (e.g. viols, crumhorns, cornetts, natural trumpet.)


3. Historic Instruments

According to the suitability of the instrument and the player, historic instruments may sometimes be borrowed from the collection.


4. In-house Historic Instruments

Instruments which may not be borrowed but may be played when supervised in the Bate premises, e.g. keyboard instruments.


5. Javanese Gamelan

Students wishing to play Javanese Gamelan instruments can join the weekly sessions run by the Oxford Gamelan Society on Wednesday evenings. Enthusiasm and concentration are required rather than any previous musical experience or training.

Students wishing to book gamelan workshops, please contact


Current instruments on loan


The Bate Collection will be moving to The Schwarzman Centre, a new Humanities home with state-of-the-art academic, exhibition and performance spaces.

While this is exciting, it will imply a temporary disruption of the loan provision, as instruments will have to be checked, cared for, packed and moved outside the Faculty premises, together with the rich Bate Collection archival documents and books.

Please, be patient while we work on this process, and do check the list of current instruments on loan which will be updated regularly (Here)

N.B. For all of the above, the following is always required:
 1. A letter of reference is required in advance from a Senior Tutor/Supervisor (Member of the Faculty/College). Please bring this to your appointment.
2. Instrument Loan Form (please download it HERE)