Loan of Herbarium Specimens
Sharing the data conserved in The New
York Botanical Garden
Herbarium has been central to our mission since the founding of
institution. During most of the past
century, researchers have obtained specimen data by visiting the herbarium or
through specimen loans. Since the advent of The New
Garden Virtual Herbarium in 1997,
have access to digitized data for a small (12%) but steadily increasing
proportion of the collection. The advantages of electronic consultation are that results are instantaneous and that data can be retrieved by multiple criteria. Specimen images
are of sufficient quality to
permit analysis of taxonomic features
that can be seen with a handlens or low-power dissecting microscope.
Because digitized specimens are sometimes acceptable
substitutes for physical specimens for some studies, we have decided to
formalize the procedure for digitization of specimens on request, and
it the Virtual Herbarium Loan Program. Our objective is to standardize
method for providing these data for more efficient fulfillment of such
requests, better integration of this activity into other data capture
currently underway, and also better tracking of the use of the
affiliation of borrower. Physical
loans are made only to herbaria that
are listed in Index
Herbariorum and are willing to comply with our
Regulations for Physical Specimen Loans.
Type of research
that require destructive sampling of specimens are clearly not
appropriate for Virtual Herbarium loans, whereas requests for specimens
for the purposes of comparing label data or annotation usually do not
require the physical specimen.
Group of plants requested. Specimens of taxa whose transport is regulated by federal or international law cannot be sent to institutions lacking
proper permission to receive them. These include any taxon listed on any of the
Appendicesor on the Federal
Noxious Weeds list.
User preference. If the
potential borrower has preference as to the type of loan, this should
be indicated in the request.
Requesting a Loan
To request a loan from The William and Lynda
please submit a request via email to the Director of the Herbarium, Dr.
M. Thiers (firstname.lastname@example.org). An informative and concise loan request is key to its successful fulfillment. Please
see Tips for Effective Loan Requests.
The first step in responding to a loan request will be to
determine whether or not we have the specimens requested. If we do not have the requested specimens, we will notify the requestor immediately via email.
All incoming requests will be evaluated to determine
whether a physical loan or Virtual Herbarium Loan is most appropriate. The factors that will influence the decision include:
Providing the Loan
Virtual Herbarium Loans: When the requested specimens have been
borrower will receive an email notifying him/her that the specimens are
available for viewing or download. The
email will include a number code and a link to the Virtual
Access. Enter this code in the query box to initiate the
view the specimen records and images.
Physical Specimen Loans: Shipping invoices will be sent
separately when the loan is
mailed. When the loan is received, the contents should be verified, and
acknowledgement copy of the invoice returned immediately.
Please refer to Regulations for Physical
Specimen Loans for the proper handling and documentation of
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