Almost all loans coming into Towneley are for temporary exhibitions and are handled in accordance with current museum standards. If the loans are from other museums the paperwork covering the objects are normally provided by the museum making the loan otherwise the loans are recorded at Towneley using an object entry form.
Outgoing loans of objects from Towneley's collections are recorded using object exit forms as described in Towneley's Documentation Procedure Manual. Each object's current location is recorded in the museum's collections management system and for loans this entry will indicate the name of the organisation being loaned the object and when it is expected to return. Overseas loans from Towneley can only be made with Burnley Town Council's permission.
There are a small number of objects that have been on loan at Towneley for many years. The earliest of these are five objects on loan from the V&A
In 1933, Mrs. Le Gendre Starkie, of Huntroyde, loaned three sculptures. Two of them are still on loan. One is the Italian Venus, an early copy after Canova, in the Red Regency Room and the other, Nymph disturbed at her bath by Duckett, in the Green Regency Room. Also in the Red Regency Room are two paintings of the children of the Petre family of Dunkenhalgh by John Partridge (1790-1872) on loan from the Petre family since 1982.