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Ornithology Department

Collection Policies

Loan Policy

Requests are only considered from permanent staff members of an institution. Loan requests from students and postdoctoral fellows need to be cosigned or requested by a major professor or postdoctoral advisor. Additionally, researchers visiting other institutions may request loans to that collection, but the request must come from a resident curator or collection manager of that institution. Ultimate responsibility of the specimens is assumed by the institution to which the specimens are loaned.

Taxa which are represented by fewer than 5 specimens in the MCZ collection are generally not considered for loans. Special consideration may be made with proper justification. Alternatively, we suggest that a researcher visit the MCZ to study these specimens. Ernst Mayr Travel Grants are available for researchers visiting the MCZ for work in animal systematics.

No more than one-half of the total specimens of a single taxon will be loaned out at any one time. Second requests may be made to view the remainder of specimens upon safe return of original loan. Loans of individual specimens, no matter the total number of specimens for that taxon, will be made on a case by case basis.

If a specimen is too fragile for transport it will be not be lent at any point.

Loans of type material are not considered. However, researchers are encouraged to visit the MCZ to view this material.

Loan requests should include the following information:

  1. Full name and institutional affiliation of the requestor as well their mailing address, email and phone number.
  2. MCZ Catalog numbers and complete taxonomic information of requested specimens.
  3. Justification of the need of the specimens for the proposed study.
  4. Experience of the researcher in handling ornithological specimens.
  5. Proposed activities to be conducted using the specimens (if measurements, specify types of measurements to be taken).
  6. Summary of previous work on the taxonomic group.
  7. Summary of specimens requested from other institutions.
  8. Requested length of loaned material (length will ultimately be decided by the Curator of Ornithology at the MCZ).

Loan requests should be directed to Jeremiah Trimble, Curatorial Associate in Ornithology.

Loaned specimens must never be altered in any way and should be handled with great care. Specimens must be stored in air tight cases in a climate controlled facility.

Permission to photograph loaned specimens must be requested separately. Please view the Photography Policy.

Two copies of any publications resulting from work on material loaned from the MCZ must be sent to the MCZ Ornithology collection, care of Jeremiah Trimble. Credit must be given to the Ornithology Department of the MCZ in that publication and mention of specimens must include the proper MCZ Ornithology catalog number.