Visits & Loans

Scheduling a Visit

Please contact the assistant curator or collection manager should you wish to visit the collection. Visiting hours are Monday-Friday, roughly 7 a.m.-4 p.m., but additional hours may be available.


Requests for loans should either be made by hardcopy letter on institutional stationery or by email. Loans are made to permanent staff at universities and museums, or to graduate students with their advisor also listed on the paperwork. In all cases the Masters or Doctoral advisor should be aware that he/she is responsible for the loan. A brief synopsis of the study on the specimens should be outlined in the request as well as how the specimens will be used. Any requests for sampling of the specimens for tissue, removing stomach contents, or small cuts to ascertain sex must be authorized by the assistant curator before the specimens are sent for loan. Published papers (reprints or PDFs) resulting from use of the loans should be sent to the collection manager.

Fluid Specimens

There are three layers of plastic to prevent fluid leaks and cheesecloth to maintain the moisture inside the inner bag. Sharp projectiles on specimens (claws, teeth, etc.) should be properly wrapped with additional cheesecloth to prevent penetrating the inner plastic bag. Absorbent material is placed between the second and outside layer of plastic. Shipping is by USPS, UPS, or FedEx. Specimens in alcohol are maintained in 70% ethanol/ethyl alcohol that is NOT denatured. Please maintain this fluid when at the borrowing institution and do not store in isopropyl alcohol. Specimens in formalin will be sent with very little fluid and should be stored in 5-10% formalin while at the borrowing institution.

Two copies of the paperwork are sent with loans; one for the researcher and the second to be signed on receipt and inspection of the package. Note condition of the specimens and verify contents before sending back the signed copy.

Generally only half of our total specimens will be sent in any one loan, with the second half sent out after return of the first borrowed portion. In common species, the two loans may be mailed in consecutive weeks with permission to borrow all specimens in our collection. Holotypes are rarely lent.