Specimen Loans

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Loans are made to institutions and must be requested by an official staff member of your institution. Material needed for study by graduate students or scientists not formally part of your museum must be requested by an official staff member of your institution. The loan request must include a description of the project, including names (and synonyms) and geographical area (where appropriate) of the taxa requested.

Type specimens are not loaned except under unusual situations at the discretion of the Curator. High resolution digital images of type specimens can be provided on request. High quality images of many of the type specimens in the collection are available through JSTOR Global Plants.

Loan Policies

Duration, handling and storage:  Loans normally are made for six months. This period may be extended at the request of the borrowing museum if the material continues to be studied actively. The loan must be returned by insured mail, UPS, FedEx,  or by another commercial carrier with tracking capabilities. While on loan, the specimens must be stored in standard air-tight, insect-proof cabinets and not left out except while being studied actively. They must be handled carefully to avoid damage. The Museum expects specimens to be returned in the same condition as when they were borrowed. The Museum of Biodiversity may recall a loan at any time.

Loan Transfers: Loaned specimens may not be removed from the borrowing museum or transferred to another institution without permission of the lending institution. Permission to transfer a loan is granted on a case-by-case basis.

Specimen sampling: No dissection of specimens or removal of samples of any kind is allowed without prior approval from the Museum of Biodiversity Curator.  Submit a request for permission to sample or dissect to the Curator. For more details about the information needed in a sampling proposal, contact the Curator. Approval of your request is not assured and depends on the rarity of the material that you wish to sample and the nature of your request. Maintaining the scientific integrity of the specimens is our primary responsibility.

Documentation and publications:  The borrower is expected to annotate each specimen of the loan using archivally appropriate materials. Specimens determined to be types during the course of a loan should be annotated as such, providing basionym and publication information. Use of these specimens should be acknowledged in all publications and dissertations resulting from this study. Reprints or electronic copies must be provided to document the use of the specimens.

Contact the Curator to request loans or for clarification of this policy.