Loans of specimens from the research collections are made only to qualified research investigators (e.g. faculty, curators, and research staff) at institutions with facilities to properly house and care for specimens. Loan requests for students must originate from the student’s major advisor. Invasive procedures (e.g. removal of hair, feathers, muscle, skin, teeth, or bone; dissection; tissue sampling; or removal of fossils from matrix) are not permitted without the express permission of the appropriate curator (see Destructive Sampling Policy).
All requests must be in writing and should include a brief statement describing the proposed use of the material. Postal mail, e-mail and FAX requests are acceptable. Loan requests should be directed to theCollections Manager and are subject to curatorial approval. Please include the following information in your request:
Research Collections Loan Policy and User Agreement
We issue loans for a six-month period; loans are renewable with curatorial approval if specimens are needed for longer than six months. We do not issue permanent or indefinite loans, and certain categories of specimens are never loaned; these include rare, fragile, unique, and type specimens. In some circumstances, we may decline requests for large series of specimens, or material that is difficult to ship. The borrower must sign and return a copy of the MSU Museum Outgoing Loan Agreement form.
When specimens are returned to MSU, they must be packed in the original MSU loan container, insured for the original amount, and shipped via an approved carrier. Specimen re-identifications or other corrections should be provided upon return of the specimens to MSU Museum. These may be indicated on the loan form copy or in a separate note that references the specimen catalog number.
User Agreement - In accordance with our standard loan policy, the investigator agrees to
- Obtain written permission before transferring material to a third party
- Acknowledge the MSU Museum and its collections in all publications that contain data derived from MSU Museum specimens. (Our institutional acronym is MSU; the official collection acronym is MSU for mammalogy, ornithology, and vertebrate paleontology specimens; and MSUM for herpetology and ichthyology specimens)
- Send electronic copy, book citation, link to abstract, or reprint of published work containing data derived from MSU Museum specimens to the Collections Manager.
The MSU Museum Vertebrate Teaching Collections contain over 2,300 cataloged specimens for use in MSU courses. Specimens include study skins, skeletal materials, tanned hides, articulated limbs, horns, antlers, bird mounts in display boxes, nests, eggs, feathers, fossils, casts, models, and microscope slides. Please contact the Collections Manager for information on holdings and availability.
We loan teaching specimens to MSU faculty for use in laboratory and lecture classes on campus. All requests must be in writing (e-mail, campus mail, and FAX requests are acceptable). Requests should be made well in advance of the date needed; a minimum two-week lead time is recommended. Requests should be directed to the Collections Manager and are subject to curatorial approval. Please include the following information in your request:
Teaching Collections Loan Policy and User Agreement
Teaching specimens are loaned to campus faculty for short periods (usually one to a few days, depending on class schedule and specimen availability). The borrower is responsible for specimen security and care and must sign and return the MSU Museum Outgoing Loan Agreement form. Materials must be picked up from and returned to the Museum Main Office during administrative hours. Specimens being returned to the Museum must be packed and returned in the original loan container.
User Agreement - In accordance with our standard loan policy, the borrower agrees to
- Not transfer material to a third party
Adhere to the following handling guidelines:
- Do not consume food or drink near or while handling specimens
- When pointing out structures on specimens, use a blunt probe or other blunt instrument and not a pen, pencil, or tool that will leave marks on specimens
- Never remove tags or labels from a specimen (tags on specimens used for exams may be covered with folded paper and a paperclip)
- Bring to the attention of the Collections Manager any specimen parts (e.g. teeth) or tags that have become separated
Materials for K-12 teachers are available from the MSU Museum Education Division.