Loan Policies

Requests to borrow specific specimens for research or exhibition should be addressed in writing to the curators or collections manager. Requests should include the following information: the purpose of the loan; a description of the material requested; where, and under whose responsibility, the specimens will be housed while on loan, and the anticipated time period of the loan.

The Paleobotany Division provides loans principally to institutions, and not to individuals. A permanently employed institutional representative who has the appropriate authority to bind the institution is required for the loan. Investigators who are not located at, or affiliated with, an institution can make arrangements to have specimens sent to a nearby facility as long as a responsible member of that institution is willing to accept responsibility for the stewardship of the specimens, and provided that the specimens remain on the premises of that institution. Specimens requested by students, post-doctoral fellows, or emeritus faculty require endorsement by an appropriate curator or current faculty member who has the authority to bind the institution to provisions of the loan.

Only under exceptional circumstances will loans be made to individuals lacking institutional affiliation or sponsorship. To be named an "authorized borrower," an unaffiliated individual must be known to the paleobotanical community, must have demonstrated the capacity to appropriately care for specimens, including their security, and to return specimens in a timely manner. Such loan requests must be formally approved in writing by the curator of Paleobotany, KU Biodiversity Institute.

Some specimens in the Division of Paleobotany collections are not available for loan, including specimens judged too fragile or environmentally sensitive to transport.. Moreover, in general the Division of Paleobotany does not make loans of type or figured specimens, or single representatives of a taxon. All special loan requests are evaluated and after review by the Curator and/or Collection Manager are based on the merits of the intended use of the specimen(s).

All specimens loaned from the Division of Paleobotany are subject to the following stipulations:

  • The length of each loan will be specified at the time of the request, and will generally not exceed 6 months in duration.  Requests for additional time should be made in writing to the curator in charge or the collections manager.
  • Specimens on loan may not be transferred or forwarded to another individual or institution, even if the person who requested the loan changes institutional affiliation, without prior written permission from a responsible individual affiliated with in the Division of Paleobotany.
  • Specimens loaned for research must be curated according to professional standards, including protection from extremes of temperature and humidity, pests, and instances where they may be adversely affected or partially destroyed. Light-sensitive specimens should be protected from excessive illumination when not being studied. In the case of loans for exhibit, the Division of Paleobotany will specify handling and mounting procedures, lighting, and security guidelines. In some cases, a borrowing institution will be requested to submit a facilities report before an exhibit loan can be approved.
  • Specimens should not be sampled, dissected, prepared, molded or otherwise replicated. Nor should they be remounted, reframed, repaired, coated for photography, fumigated, or in any way altered without prior written permission from the appropriate curator in charge or the collection manager.
  • Exchange or permanent retention of a duplicate specimen is sometimes permitted, but authorization requires a written approval by the Division of Paleobotany curator in charge or collections manager.
  • Documentation affixed to specimens such as accession or catalogue numbers must not be in any way altered or removed. The Division of Paleobotany must be notified of any taxonomic annotations that are based on loaned specimens.
  • Specimens that are returned from loan remain the responsibility of the borrower until the specimen(s) are received by the Division of Paleobotany. Such specimens must be accompanied by an invoice, should be packed properly, with the same care as when they were initially sent, and returned by the same shipping method as specified by the Division of Paleobotany at the time of return.
  • The curator in charge and/or the collections manager of the Division of Paleobotany responsible for loaning a specimen will indicate the appropriate value for insurance rate on the loan form. All loans should be insured for this value.
  • In the case of research loans involving multiple specimens, the borrower must agree in advance to cover the cost of return shipping and insurance. Reimbursement may be required for additional expenses such as construction of appropriate shipping container, ancillary fees, and the use of a courier service. For exhibit loans, the borrower must agree in advance to provide all-risk, wall-to-wall insurance and to cover all packing and shipping expenses. Reimbursement may also be requested for conservation treatment, fabrication of exhibit mounts, and for the use of a courier service.
  • The Division of Paleobotany, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, must receive appropriate credit in exhibit labels, catalogues, and publications based on the use of specimens from its collections. The acronym "KUPB" should be used to cite the Division of Paleobotany specimens (unless otherwise specified). Authors are requested to send two reprints of any publication based in whole or in part on material loaned.
  • Failure to follow KUPB and Biodiversity Institute policies may jeopardize future loan privileges.

Collections Access — Statement of Basic Principles:

  • A loan constitutes a temporary physical transfer of material without transfer of ownership. Loans are undertaken by the Division of Paleobotany, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas as a matter of professional courtesy.
  • All specimens received by the Division of Paleobotany must be accepted by the collections manager, curator in charge, or Director of the Biodiversity Institute. .
  • Loans are made on behalf of the Division of Paleobotany, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas by a curator or the collections manager.
  • The Director of the Biodiversity Institute maintains the ultimate authority over the collections in the Division of Paleobotany.
  • All loans are made for non-commercial research purposes.
  • Responsibility for the care and custody of material on loan from the Division of Paleobotany must be accepted in writing by an appropriate institution through its authorized representative. Exceptions to this requirement can be made only by the Director based on discussion with the curator or the collections manager.