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Invertebrate Paleontology Department

Collection Policies

Collections Care Policy

The Curatorial Associate and the collections staff are responsible for all facets of collection care. This includes responsibility for the physical condition, storage, documentation and archiving of data, and making such recommendation to the Curatorial staff concerning collections in their area of responsibility.

A. Conservation

The collection will be monitored for climate conditions, which may affect specimens with structurally degradable mineralogy or organic content. Any adverse condition will be corrected or brought to the attention of the Head of the Department. Conditions out of the control of the Department will be brought to the attention of the proper authorities. Humidity is the most common damaging element of climate and will be monitored to try to maintain acceptable levels. Pyrite and Byne's diseases are the most prevalent chemical reactions effecting invertebrate fossils and will be carefully searched for during collection inspections and normal handling. The most prevalent cause, exceeding 99%, of damage to fossil material is mechanical. The Curatorial Associate is responsible for proper training of the collections staff in handling materials to reduce such damage to a minimum. Any other accepted conservation techniques, which effect specimens, will be applied to ensure physical safety of the specimens.

B. Pest Control

Invertebrate fossils are not usually susceptible to pest activity. Adhesives, coatings and other associated organic materials may be effected. Monitoring and any needed action will be taken if any infestations are noted. Labels or papers of any kind are sensitive to pest damage. Books, notes and labels may be literally consumed in relatively short periods of time during heavy infestations. Preventive maintenance will be carried out at any suspicion of presence of such pest activity in the collection. All control activities will be coordinated with the Museum and/or University authorities for such actions. Only OSHA, State and University recommended chemicals will be used and will be applied following any regulations provided by these agencies. Human safety is of first consideration in pest control.