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Mammalogy Department

Collection Policies

Loan Policy

General Policies

Our loan policies are comparable to those of other major institutions. Please read these guidelines before requesting a loan.

All loan requests should include a complete taxonomic description of the specimens requested, the borrower’s name, institutional affiliation, mailing and email address, and telephone number.

Loans are made on an institution to institution basis and only to faculty or staff. A short description of proposed research and methods should accompany a written request for material. Graduate students may borrow specimens if their request is accompanied by a letter from their advisor. If the loan is approved, the advisor is responsible for the material.

Upon loan approval, we may require up to two weeks to complete processing the loan. Loans are made for a 6 month period. To extend the loan period, a formal request must be made before the loan is expired and approved by the Curator or Curatorial Associate. Specimens cannot be moved to another institution or address without written permission from the department.

Ordinarily, not more than one-half of a taxonomic or locality series may be borrowed at any one time. Upon return of the first half of the loan, the remaining installment will be sent to the borrower. Under special circumstances, this policy may be relaxed if the nature of the study requires concurrent access to the entire series.

No loans will be shipped during the month of December due to high volumes experienced by the US Postal Service and the concomitant increase in the risks of damage or loss.

When MCZ specimens are used in a scientific publication, credit should be given to the Department of Mammalogy, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. A copy of the resulting publication should be sent to the department to facilitate an updating of records.

Please send inquiries regarding holdings and loans to the Mammalogy Department.

Restrictions on Loan Availability

Type specimens, endangered or threatened species, or specimens that are only represented in our collection by a few individuals are not ordinarily loaned via U.S. Postal or other carriers. On a case-by-case basis, requests for loans of these materials will be considered if the visitor is willing to visit the MCZ and carry these specimens by hand. Researchers are welcome to use such specimens on site.

Specimens being accessioned or used by MCZ staff for research are also not available for loan until the accessioning or research is completed.

Care of Specimens while on Loan

Please ensure the proper care of borrowed specimens. Specimens should be stored in dust-free and pest-proof cases for the duration of the loan. Fluid specimens should be stored in 75% ethanol. Do not subject specimens to any mechanical or chemical treatments without prior approval. Do not remove any labels, tags, or numbers from skins, skeletons, or fluid specimens.