Consultation and Loan of Specimens

Specimens may be sent on loan for the use of qualified botanists for the purpose of serious taxonomic research. Requests for loans must be made by the curator of a botanical institution or department; loans are not made to individuals. The request should be addressed to the appropriate curator and should include the following information: 1) the name and status of the researcher (student, staff member, visiting scientist, etc.); 2) the nature and scope of the study;, 3) the taxa requested, including possible synonyms; 4) the basionyms (including authors) for any type specimens being requested; and 5) the geographic scope of specimens desired, if appropriate. The mailing address is: Department of Biology, Box 90338, Duke University, Durham NC 27708-0338.

The department or herbarium requesting the loan must accept responsibility for the safe custody and return of the specimens. Loans are made without charge or service fee; it is expected that the borrowing institution will pay the costs of return shipment.

Specimens must not be removed from the institution to which they were loaned without written consent of the Duke Herbarium. Specimens may be transferred only to recognized institutions, not individuals, and permission for loan transfers will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Upon receipt of the material, the borrowing institution should return the appropriate portion of the acknowledgment form to the Duke Herbarium, noting any discrepancies in counts or pertinent notes on the condition of the loan.

Loans are made for a period of one year. If further time is required, an extension may be requested from the herbarium curator. It is requested, however, that loans be returned at the earliest opportunity.

Except during actual examination, specimens should remain in newsprint covers. Sheets should not be bent, folded, or laid face downwards.

The judicious dissection of specimens is normally permitted. For vascular plant specimens please use material in the packet or plastic bag stapled to the sheet for dissection before removing material from the actual specimen. All dissected portions must be placed in a suitable envelope and included with the specimen or attached to the herbarium sheet.

Materials for palynological, anatomical, chemical or molecular studies must not be removed from the herbarium sheet without obtaining prior permission. Researchers with requests of this nature should refer to the Destructive Sampling Policy and consult with the appropriate herbarium curator for authorization to remove material from specimens.

All specimens should be annotated before return to DUKE. Annotation labels should include the determination, name of the investigator, and date of identification. In addition, type specimens should be annotated with the kind of type (holotype, isotype, lectotype, etc.), the basionym, author, and citation of the place of publication of the basionym. Annotation labels should be typed, printed, or legibly written in indelible ink. Ball-point pens should not be used. Existing labels, notes, or other annotations on the sheet must not be removed or defaced. Specimens that cannot be accurately named or those belonging to groups other than the ones under consideration should be annotated as far as possible.

Material to be returned should be packed well to ensure safe transit. Please note the method of packing employed when the specimens arrive and pack in a similar manner when returning the loan. PLEASE USE ORIGINAL PACKING when possible, especially the bubble sheets for vascular plant specimens. A shipping notice should be included with each returned loan and a copy sent by mail in a separate envelope.

Please cite the Duke Herbarium (DUKE) in publications based on use of our material. Copies of publications based on our collections should be sent as soon as they are available.