Botany Collections Access Policies

Specimen Loan Procedures and Policies for the Milwaukee Public Museum Herbarium (MIL)

1. Specimens may be borrowed from the Milwaukee Public Museum Herbarium for purposes of taxonomic research. All loans must be authorized and documented by a formal loan agreement or contract.

2. Requests for loans must be made in writing to the Curator of Botany by a qualified staff member of a recognized botanical facility. Loans are not issued to students but may be assigned to their major professor if that person can vouch for the professionalism of the student and ensure compliance with the loan agreement. Loan requests should describe the nature and scope of work contemplated, the worker’s name, and all pertinent information on requested specimens. Loans are made to institutions and not to individuals. The borrowing facility assumes responsibility for the safekeeping and return of the borrowed materials.

3. A loan is made for a period of one year, except for type specimens which are loaned for six months. Extensions may be granted upon written request. Specimens loaned must remain at the institution to which they were originally consigned and not be transferred elsewhere without written permission.

4. Specimens on loan should be kept under insect-proof conditions and handled carefully to avoid damage. Type specimens should be stored in their original folders or packets and studied only to determine the correct application of a name. Specimens not previously identified as types should be so annotated and bear reference to any basionym and its publication.

5. Except for type material, limited dissection of specimens is normally permitted. Dissected portions (including permanent preparations) should be returned within suitable containers with each specimen. Studies necessitating permanent removal of plant fragments require prior permission. These specimens should be adequately annotated indicating disposition or location of dissected portions. If a portion of the specimen is photographed, a print of the photograph should be returned with the specimen.

6. Each specimen should be annotated or affirmed using annotation slips and permanent ink or type and attached to the sheet or packet with a paper clip. Annotations should not be made on original labels, packets, or sheets. Affirmations (!) must clearly indicate the name affirmed, the date of annotation, and the annotator’s full name.

7. Unless otherwise arranged, all specimens in one loan must be returned together carefully packaged to avoid damage in transit. The borrower is expected to pay return shipping costs, to adequately insure the material, and to attach all necessary travel certificates, documents, or permits.

8. Loans from the Milwaukee Public Museum Herbarium (MIL) should be acknowledged in published works. The Curator of Botany should receive a reprint of each publication.