Search MCZ

Vertebrate Paleontology Department

Collection Policies

Collection Access & Use Policy

Access to specimens is open to qualified visitors, researchers, and students. Interested parties are requested to obtain authorization by contacting the Curatorial Associate (Jessica Cundiff ).

Requests for use of the collection should include:

  1. A short research proposal (e.g. what you plan to accomplish with work on the requested material and how that fits in with your research goal).
  2. Your full name and institutional address. For graduate students and post docs, please also include the name of your supervisor and their institutional address.
  3. A list of MCZ specimens or taxa you wish to study.

Ernst Mayr Grants support short visits to museums for collection based research. For guidelines see the MCZ grants and funding pages.

Collection Use

All users of the collection are requested to fill out a pink specimen withdrawal card, and deposit this card in place of each specimen removed from a storage cabinet. When the specimen is returned, the card will be removed and destroyed. A formal loan form is required for all specimens going on loan, including in-house loans.


Researchers should contact the MCZ curatorial staff for approval before undertaking preparation. If thin-sectioned specimens are prepared on glass or by other techniques, the sections should be clearly labeled with complete information from the original specimen. Types should not be electrocoated for SEM examination if such coating may impair other types of study.

Molding & Casting

May be undertaken with the approval of the curatorial staff.