The curator, in accordance with the Museum’s Collection Management Policy, must give approval for a new loan. Approval is subject to the considerations outlined below.
Conditions for a Loan:
Institutional Affiliation: The Museum will lend items to other institutions and organizations, not to individuals. The borrower must have an affiliation with a research institution or organization. Under no circumstances will a loan be sent to a home address. Individuals without such affiliation may borrow only under the condition that they are sponsored by a research institution or organization, and agree to study the material at the designated institution or organization.
Past Loan History: New requests are approved only after past loans are returned, or reasons are given for granting a loan extension. New additional loans may be granted during the period of an existing loan if they are an extension of the same project. Requests from institutions and organizations with a demonstrated history of not returning, losing, or improperly handling or caring for specimens will be rejected on those grounds.
Students/Faculty Sponsors: Loans are not made directly to students. Student borrowers must have a faculty sponsor with an institutional or organizational affiliation who agrees to take full responsibility for the care and safe return of the specimens. The student must leave the specimens in the custody of their faculty sponsor for safe return in the event that they leave the University. Delinquent student loans will delay new requests from other students of the same faculty sponsor.
First-time Borrowers: Loans to first-time borrowers should be of reasonable size. In the event of a large request, a part of the material will be loaned in the first shipment. When that material is returned, additional loans will be granted. No determined specimens will be loaned for use as synoptic or reference collections. At the discretion of the curator, loans of types (non-holotype specimens) to first-time borrowers may be limited in size.
Size of the Request: The number of specimens requested for loan should be of reasonable size. In most cases, every specimen of an entire group (higher taxon) will not be loaned at once; some representative vouchers from series of identified material will be held in the Museum. For exceptionally large requests, involving hundreds or thousands of specimens, the size of the request should be limited or an on-site visit to the museum should be scheduled.
Compliance: The loan and borrower will adhere to applicable federal, state, local, and international laws, treaties, and regulations.
Loan Agreement: The Loan Agreement should be promptly signed and returned on receipt of specimens. If damage has occurred during shipping it should be detailed on the form at the time of receipt, and the SNOMNH curatorial staff and Registrar should be immediately notified. By signing the Loan Agreement, the borrower agrees to abide by the conditions set forth here. Failure to promptly return the Loan Agreement may subject the loan to immediate recall.
Loan Extensions and Loan Recall: The loan is made for the period indicated on the Loan Agreement. An extension may be granted at the discretion of the Curator based on a written request and on an individual basis. The SNOMNH does not permit indefinite or permanent loans. The borrower will return the loan promptly when the loan is terminated or extension denied. Delinquent loans may delay future requests. As long as there have been no other requests for the material, extensions are usually granted while the material is actively being researched. The loan may be recalled at any time by the SNOMNH and must be returned by the date indicated in the recall notice.
Change of Address: It is the responsibility of the borrower to inform the SNOMNH curatorial staff in a timely manner of any change of address. Borrowed specimens may not be moved to a new collection or location unless the SNOMNH curatorial staff grants permission for the transfer. The SNOMNH may request that loans be returned to the SNOMNH and renegotiated.
Loan Transfers: Loans are made to institutions not to individuals. Borrowed specimens may not be loaned secondarily or transferred to the care of other researchers unless the SNOMNH curatorial staff agrees to the transfer and provides formal written permission.
Loans to be Hand-carried: In limited circumstances, visiting researchers may be allowed to hand-carry loans of specimens selected during an on-site visit to the borrowing institution; however, the loan must first be approved and full information provided to the staff before any specimens leave the museum. Researchers should place a specimen withdrawal slip on the outside (inside if appropriate) of each drawer from which they remove specimens in order to enable the curatorial staff to properly replace returned specimens.
Type and Determination Procedures
Primary Types: Holotype specimens will not be shipped on loan. Workers needing to examine holotype material are encouraged to visit the museum to inspect the specimens if possible. Curators reserve the right to send digital images of holotypes (dorsal, lateral view, original labels) in lieu of the original specimen if visitation to the museum cannot occur.
Secondary types (e.g., paratypes series) should be of a reasonable amount. No new loans will be approved until past loans are returned. Paratypes will normally be loaned for a year, with extensions granted according to curatorial discretion. Unique types and entire syntypic series will ordinarily be loaned only for monographic work.
All secondary types (e.g., allotypes and paratypes) described from borrowed SNOMNH material must be returned promptly. Requests regarding deposition or retention of secondary types (e.g., paratypes) should be directed to the Curator. Gifts and exchanges must be negotiated outside of the Loan Agreement as a separate transaction. For new types designated from material collected outside the United States, agreements concerning type deposition in the source country may exist; the borrower will inquire about deposition agreements BEFORE publication. Newly designated paratype material to be deposited in other institutions should be returned to the SNOMNH for de-accessioning; the SNOMNH will arrange for the deposition of the material in other institutions. Types will be labeled with genus, species, and author; lectotypes or neotypes should be clearly labeled as such with year and name of designator.
Non-Types: Non-types will normally be loaned for one year, with extensions commonly granted, depending on the scope of the project and the number of specimens involved. All specimens must be returned promptly at the end of the loan period. Requests regarding the retention of duplicates of specimens from a locality/date series identified by the borrower should be directed to the Curator. Gifts and exchanges must be negotiated outside of the Loan Agreement as a separate transaction. If a request for retention of duplicate specimens from a locality /date series (no more than 30% of specimens) is approved, the specimens will be de-accessioned by the SNOMNH and donated/gifted to the institution or organization.
Determination labels with determiner’s name and date should be placed on the first specimen of each series and all unique specimens identified during revisionary or other detailed studies. All unique specimens must be returned.
Manipulation and Care of Specimens
Dissections: No re-mounting, dissection, sampling, or preparation is permitted without prior permission of the SNOMNH. The borrower will contact the Curator with all requests regarding, for example, complete dissection or destruction, dissection of genitalia, preparation of slides, coating for SEM, or destructive sampling for DNA/RNA extraction; sampling request forms are available on the department’s museum website or may be requested from the curatorial staff.
Dissection of specimens is permitted for revisionary, monographic, or morphological research; however, duplicate material should be used whenever possible. Dissected parts must always be returned with the remainder of the specimen, either in microvials, card or point mounted, or mounted on slides in permanent mounting media. In the case of specimens preserved in fluid, dissected parts should be placed in tiny vials, cotton stoppered, within larger containers with the remainder of the specimen. If parts of specimens are separately mounted on glass slides, these should be clearly cross-referenced with the remainder of the specimen, and labeled with complete data from the original specimen. Complete disarticulation or metallic coating for SEM study of an entire specimen is not permitted unless the specimen is part of a series (3 or more specimens) with the exact data. Permission to dissect types will only be given if the dissection is necessary to resolve a difficult taxonomic problem. Types may not be coated for SEM work.
Mounting of Vial or Lot Material in Alcohol: Material loaned in alcohol either singly or in a lot may be re-curated as pinned specimens with prior approval of the Curator, and as long as the corresponding catalog number (e.g., OMNH 3457) and other corresponding data labels for the specimen/lot are duplicated and retained with each pinned specimen.
Care of Specimens: All borrowed specimens should be kept in units, boxes, or drawers that are clearly marked to indicate that they are property of the SNOMNH collection. If, during the course of study, SNOMNH specimens are mixed with specimens from other collections, then the SNOMNH specimens should be affixed with individual labels to indicate that they are property of the SNOMNH collection. If the material is in alcohol, it is the responsibility of the borrower to maintain of alcohol levels to prevent desiccation. The borrower takes full responsibility for care of specimens; they should be protected from breakage, dust, and museum pests.
Publication Results and Returning of Specimens
Publication of Results: All publications, printed materials, or lectures based on study of the borrowed material should credit the “Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History” and ownership of SNOMNH specimens as “Department of Recent Invertebrates OMNH (catalog number)”. The borrower should send a copy or pdf of the publication to the SNOMNH Department of Recent Invertebrates. Researchers designating types from SNOMNH material are required to publish the SNOMNH catalog number with the type designation.
Shipment of Returning Specimens: Borrowers are encouraged to return all specimens as soon as possible after the completion of a project, and before starting new unrelated projects. In the case of very large loans, partial returns are encouraged as lots of materials are studied. Please do not ship any specimens (secondary types/non-types) during December. Prior to the return of the loan, the borrower will notify the Curator and Collection Manager of the anticipated shipping and arrival dates and method of shipping. Secondary types must be pinned in individual units, plastic wrapped, and sent via registered air mail. Specimens should be securely pinned, and all heavy specimens or loose parts should be brace-pinned. Material in alcohol should be packed separately from pinned material. Packing and shipping will adhere to the regulations set forth by law (e.g., DOT and IATA). Packing materials should be lightweight, and at least two (2) inches of packing material should surround the specimen box. A shipping label should be placed in the box, in case the outer label is lost or damaged, together with a copy of the loan form, annotated to indicate what material is being returned. The outside of the box should be clearly marked: “Fragile — Dead Insects for Scientific Research — No Commercial Value.” When a shipment contains returns from more than one loan, loan number should be used to sort specimens, and loan numbers indicated by small labels pinned in the unit trays.