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Teaching Loans

General policy

Whenever possible the use of casts is preferable to fossils for teaching purposes. Loans of rare or fragile specimens will be reviewed on a case by case basis by a museum scientist in consultation with the loanee.

Loans for teaching are generally available for the duration of a particular course lab or section of a course. Loans are subject to recall for research or molding. Please bring any specimens that are broken or require preparation to the staff's attention.


Faculty-Curators are responsible for insuring proper handling and return of UCMP specimens used in their classes or by graduate instructors. Faculty-Curators must approve and sign for teaching loans. No specimens are to be loaned out secondarily.


  1. Submit a list of specimens desired for teaching.
  2. Obtain the initials of the responsible Faculty-Curator for approval of the specimen list if the requested is submitted by a graduate student instructor.
  3. Submit the initialed list to the appropriate Museum Scientist three business days before the date the specimens are needed.
  4. Fill out and place a "blue cards" in the collection for each specimen removed.

Research Loans

Intrabuilding Loans

Consult the appropriate Museum Scientist to borrow material from the collections to Faculty-Curator offices and labs for ongoing research. UCMP specimens loaned to Faculty may not be removed from Faculty offices or labs. Specimens removed from the collection for graduate student affiliate use should be taken out in the name of the Faculty-Curator. The Faculty-Curator is ultimately responsible for their return to the collections upon the student's departure.

Loans for in-house research by UCMP affiliates are not generally subject to recall, except in exceptional circumstances. However, UCMP affiliates are expected to make available these materials to visiting paleontologists as a professional courtesy. A "blue card" must be filled out and placed in the museum drawer upon removal of the specimen.

Loans into UCMP

Copies of all loan forms and correspondence regarding a loan to affiliates of the Museum (staff, faculty, students) are placed on file with a Museum Scientist under the addressee on the loan form and under the name of the individual. Loans to students are made to their Faculty-Curator. If graduate student affiliates associated with UCMP arrange inter-instituional loans independently, they cannot use the name of the Museum in making the loan nor expect UCMP to bear responsibility for its return. The loan should be made through their appropriate department (i.e. Integrative Biology, Geology, Anthropology).


The museum retains several files of maps and map indices, and a Master Locality Map File (mostly topographic) of UCMP localities. Contact a Museum Scientist for access and use policy.


UCMP accepts donated materials complementary to existing collections. Specimens must have locality data and, if of a regulated nature, evidence of clear title (e.g. copies of collecting permits, permission letters from private land owners, or deeds of gift). UCMP reserves the right to choose not to accept materials of unclear ownership or history.

Curation of New Material Into UCMP

All materials curated into the UCMP collections will be available for scientific analysis and comparative study with collections made throughout the world. Data pertaining to the location of finds, depositional environment, geologic and biostratigraphic age, and taxonomic assignments of fossils will be entered into computerized databases. This data is available to land managers, state officials, and qualified researchers.

Collections must have locality data and field notes associated with them. Drop-off or storage of fossils prior to the submission of locality data is not permitted. Minimum curation standards:

  1. Specimens are washed where applicable and ready for curation.
  2. Accession Record and Locality Number are assigned to the materials. (Field notes are placed on file concurrent with the accessioning of this material in order to guarantee that the material can be properly curated and used for research.)
  3. Specimens are accompanied by accurate stratigraphic and geographic data that are tied to a listing of field numbers. Specifically, specimens should be associated with descriptions of the lithologic unit, instructions for relocating the site and determining its stratigraphic position, standard map data, latitude, and longtude.
  4. Associated specimens are clearly marked as having been found in association.
  5. Field notes in UCMP format and copies of field maps are deposited in the Museum archives in order to document the fieldwork.
  6. Specimens collected from pre-exiting localities are accompanied by published references to the locality.

Field Notes

Students and staff are expected to record field notes on all UCMP-funded field trips resulting in the collection of material (fossil and recent) to be deposited in the UCMP, and these records should be deposited and filed in the Museum concurrent with deposit of materials collected. Please contact a Museum Scientist for more information, including recommended format.

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