»  Loans of Specimens

Loans of Specimens

Typically, only qualified, responsible research scientists and graduate students at academic or research institutions may borrow specimens from the collection for scientific purposes and with the intent to publish scientific findings in a timely fashion.
Loan requests should anticipate at least one week of processing time before specimens are shipped. Loan requests may be initiated by e-mail or verbally but must be followed by with a hard-copy letter request, on institutional letterhead. Frequent borrowers may submit an e-mail request. Borrowers unknown to AMNH may be asked to submit supporting documentation (letter of reference.)
Loans are made to the borrower’s institution typically for a 2-year time period. Type specimens are loaned for no more than 6 months. Loans are processed generally within two weeks from the date of request. The institution is responsible for the care and return of the specimens. Loans for students are made to their advisors or another responsible staff member of the institution. Individuals known to have lost or mistreated specimens in the past may be denied further use of the collection. Dissection of genitalia must be approved by the Curator-in-Charge. Dissected parts should be preserved in permanent mounts or plastic microvials with glycerin, attached to the specimen pin and returned with the associated specimen. Genitalia of specimens stored in ethanol should be placed in alcohol-filled microvials and kept in the vial with the associated specimen but secured with cotton so as not to damage the specimen. A USFWS 3-177 import/export declaration must be filed for all incoming/outgoing loans shipped internationally.
     Loans are Subject to Standard Restrictions
  • Destructive sampling is not permitted unless permission is granted by the Curator-in-Charge.
  • Loan material may not to be transferred/forwarded to a third party & must be returned to AMNH.
  • The Division of Invertebrate Zoology should be given appropriate credit in publications & databases that draw on the loaned material. Copies of publications resulting from loaned material should be sent to DIZ.
  • Determination labels should be placed on each specimen used in descriptive work or as voucher.
  • Loans are made at the discretion of AMNH and may be recalled at any time.

Loan Shipments
Domestic loans will be shipped via UPS Ground.
International loans will be sent via Federal Express unless otherwise requested.
For international loans, the borrower is responsible for providing copies of relevant import and export permits.
Loans to countries where commercial delivery services are unreliable will be granted only when specimens can be hand-carried in both directions.
AMNH has a moratorium on shipping and receiving loans during the month of December. Please do not ship specimens back to AMNH in December.




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