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Vertebrate Paleontology Department

Collection Policies

Loan Policy

Loan Requests should be directed to the Curator or Curatorial Associate, and should cite the MCZ catalog or field number as well as appropriate taxonomic information. Loans are ordinarily made for research purposes only (not for classroom teaching) with the following guidelines:

  1. Institutional Affiliation:
    The borrower must have an affiliation with a research institution. Individuals without such affiliation may borrow only under the condition that they are sponsored by an individual with such an affiliation, and agree to study the material at the sponsor's institution. In such cases, loans will be sent to the sponsor at the sponsor's institutional address.
  2. Students/ Faculty Sponsors:
    Student borrowers must have a faculty advisor who is willing to oversee for the care and safe return of the specimens. Delinquent student loans may delay the processing of new requests.
  3. Specimen Stability:
    If the loan request is for type material or other historically important specimens, or if, in the opinion of the curatorial staff, the condition of the specimen is determined to be fragile, transportation by hand may be required.
  4. Loan Form:
    The recipient is requested to sign and return a copy of the loan form upon receipt of the specimens. Any damage during shipping should be indicated on the loan form.
  5. Shipping & Insurance is anticipated to be reciprocal.
    The MCZ pays for the loan shipment, with the borrower assuming responsibility for the return.
  6. Care of Specimens:
    The borrower assumes responsibility for the care of specimens. All borrowed specimens are to be kept in association with their labels and other accompanying data.
  7. Change of Address:
    It is the responsibility of the borrower to notify the MCZ curatorial staff of any change of address.
  8. Loan Tenure:
    Specimens (including types) are ordinarily loaned for a period of five years.
  9. Size of Loan Request:
    Researchers are requested to consider the practicalities involved in responding to requests for large numbers of specimens, or material that is very large. In these cases, an option may be to visit the MCZ .
  10. Type Specimens:
    Researchers designating holotypes from MCZ material are requested to provide the curatorial staff with a copy of the published type designation. It is requested that type specimens be returned either via registered mail or hand-carried.
  11. Loan Extensions are ordinarily granted in the absence of other requests for the material. Loans are not made for more than a 10 year period. It is the responsibility of the borrower to contact the Curatorial Associate for an extension, either by writing or calling (617) 496-1053.
  12. Loan Transfers:
    may not be undertaken without the written permission of the curatorial staff.
  13. Packing & Returning Specimens:
    Borrowers are requested to return all specimens as soon as possible upon completion of their research. Partial returns are acceptable. A copy of the original loan form should be enclosed with the returned loan. Types should be sent via registered mail. Specimens should be securely packed and boxed. Specimens with loose elements should especially be protected. Please do not ship any types and specimens during the month of December because of the uncertainty of the holiday mails.

Exhibition & Short-Duration Demonstration Loans

Exhibition loans are managed by MCZ Collections Operations. Short duration loans may be made with the approval of the curatorial staff.