University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

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Collections :: Acquisition Policy

The Insect Division is committed to a policy of selective acquisition. The first priority is for specimens directly related to the research of the staff and graduate students.

It has been an unwritten policy that staff members do not maintain personal collections, and all specimens they collect are accessioned into the collection. Although the Division does not seek or purchase private collections, gifts of such collections are accepted provided that they have scientific value. In exchange for specimens of particular research interest to the curators, the Division has provided modest support for field work for graduate students and others. This is particularly true for parasite collections, the quantity and value of which has been increased tremendously by the provision of some training and equipment to collectors of vertebrates from other museum divisions.

The Division also seeks to acquire specimens which increase the taxonomic breadth of the collection and accessions specimens of Great Lakes region species which increase the geographic and temporal breath of the collection.

We do not purchase specimens, nor do we support dealers that trade in exotic specimens.

We do not provide estimates on the monetary value of a collection, nor can we do so if a collection is donated to us.

If a collection is donated to us, we may ask that the donor provide proof that the collections of non-US specimens complies with the Lacey Act. Official UMMZ Policy on Accessions (PDF)

Loan Policy

The general loan policy has been that any qualified individual or isntitution may borrow specimens for legitimate purposes for periods of 1 year, renewable for as long as the specimens are necessary for completion of the research. "Qualified" individuals may meet any of the following criteria: affiliation with a museum, university or governmental unit, recognized authorities on a group of arthropods not affiliated with an institution, or individuals such as graduate students sponsored by a faculty member. In the last case, loans are also made under the name of the faculty sponsor. Type specimens are loaned for renewable 6 month periods. Multimedia materials, such as sound recordings, videos, films or slides may be loaned for no more than 30 days unless other arrangements are made at the time of the loan.

Loaned specimens must be received in the condition in which they were sent. Do not place mothballs or other extraneous materials in with the pinned specimens. Use brace pins to hold larger insects down and to keep them from swinging around during shipment. Specimen boxes must be protected by at least 4" of cushioning all around -- please use foam or foam peanuts instead of newspaper. Lids to insect boxes should be taped securely. For specimens in ethanol -- please see current regulations on shipping "hazardous materials." The Post Office will not accept packages with flammable materials.

Official UMMZ Loan Policy

If you would like to inquire about obtaining a loan or donating material to the UMMZ Insect Division, please email the Collections Manager: mfobrien@umich.edu