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Invertebrate Paleontology Department

Collection Policies

Access & Security Policy

While access to the collections is not an inherent right of the general public, all persons judged adequately trained, trustworthy and having reasonable scientific need shall be allowed access to the collections in the care of the Department and to the records referencing the collections. Security and physical safety of the specimens are of primary importance in considering access. Loss or misuse is the primary concern with all records. Members of the scientific community and, in particular, students in advanced standing or those considered specially trained are urged to use the collections as needed in research, contingent on understanding and following normal museum procedures involved with proper handling and use of specimens. Designated graduate students of the University are considered de facto staff members in collection use and access of the collections but are subject to regulations outlined under other headings of the Policy statement or any procedural guidelines.

Persons known to a staff member should make arrangements for access through that staff member or through the Curatorial Associate referencing that staff member. Persons not known to the staff may make arrangements through any staff member but should initiate the request well in advance of a visit and should expect to provide a specific statement of training and needs to access the collections.

Several general standing regulations should be understood.

  1. Random searches of the collections or records are not encouraged and most requests will be denied.
  2. Group visits are discouraged but small, escorted group visits may be arranged through a staff member.
  3. Availability of collections to visitors will correspond to normal staff working hours unless special arrangements have been made.
  4. Access may be cut short or denied, at any time, on the judgement of the staff if there is reasonable belief that there is a danger of abuse to the collections or breach of security on behalf of the user.

Security has been upgraded for type specimens and collections of high value by moving all sensitive specimens to a "secure" room that contains locked cases. Access to this area and the cases will be liberal but monitored. As the electronic database for these collections is developed an inventory program at the specimen or lot level will be initiated.