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Steere Herbarium
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Steere Herbarium

Virtual Herbarium

Loan of Herbarium Specimens

Destructive Sampling

Tips for Effective Loan Requests

An Appeal for the Annotation of Types

Regulations for Physical Loans

The herbarium at The New York Botanical Garden is part of the national heritage of research plant materials. These materials shall be used to the best interests of proper contemporary studies and are to be protected and effectively preserved in the interest of future research. The Garden seeks to serve the taxonomic community to these ends with the following protocol.

1. Requests for loans will be accepted only from the Director of the herbarium of properly accredited institutions (i.e., those listed in Index Herbariorum) for use in the conduct of systematic research by reputable scientists or their graduate students. An informative and concise loan request is key to its successful fulfillment. Please see Tips for Effective Loan Requests.

2. Loans are made for one year. Extension to the term of the loan may be made upon request. Loans may be recalled at our discretion and must not be transferred to another herbarium without our written permission.

3. Herbarium specimens so lent for taxonomic investigations, before their return, should be properly annotated by the investigator. All annotations should be made on labels with permanent ink and glued to the sheet for vascular plants. For cryptogamic specimens, either paper clip the annotation to the label of the packet (preferably under the flap) or placed inside the packet or the box . Loan numbers may be penciled on the sheet but should be erased before returning the loan. Annotations should bear, at least, the accepted name of the taxon, the name of the investigator, his/her institution, and the date of identification. Furthermore, all type specimens should be annotated with the basionym and the citation of the place of publication of the basionym. Lectotype annotations should include citation of both the original publication and the lectotypification. For more information and sample annotations, see How to Annotate Specimens from The William and Lynda Steere Herbarium. With the return of specimens, the investigator should provide, if possible, a list of synonyms derived from his/her taxonomic studies. This list will enable us to file properly the returned specimens and to make appropriate references in the herbarium which will allow the proper filing of any specimens not annotated by the investigator.

4. No portion of the specimens on the herbarium sheets may be removed without prior approval of the Director or Associate Director of the Herbarium, and then only in compliance with the Policy for Destructive Sampling of Herbarium Specimens.

5. If you are studying any taxon listed on any of the CITES Appendices please familiarize yourself with the Text of the Convention and the Resolution Regarding Herbarium Specimens that pertain to the use and transport of the specimens and their parts and products (e.g., DNA extracts). In brief, specimens (incl. parts and products) may be used only for scientific study (not for commercial purposes) and may be transported internationally only between institutions registered with CITES.

6. When the loan arrives, please open the box as soon as possible, and verify the contents by checking the contents of the folders against the packing list or invoice. The acknowledgement copy of the shipping form should be signed by the Curator and returned to us. The form can be returned by mail, by fax, or the signed form can be scanned and sent as an email attachment to the Cryptogamic herb: or to the Phanerogamic herb: Please save the shipping box and packing material, and use these when returning the loan.

7. When the loan is ready to be returned, please place specimens in the original folders, and bundle and pack with the material sent with the loan. Please verify the count, and be sure that annotation labels are secured to each specimen. Return a copy of the invoice indicating the date that the return shipment was mailed.

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