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Policies & Procedures

These guidelines are in place to protect the collections.  The University of Arizona Museum of Natural History has the right to revoke visitor privileges at our discretion.


Requesting an Appointment

The University of Arizona Museum of Natural History Collections are open to researchers and students. Requests to visit the collection should be made by completing a Visitor Registration Form (link).

Visitor Guidelines

Specimens are irreplaceable and must be treated with extreme care. Visitors may not mark, damage, or alter specimens in any way, even temporarily. Alteration of specimen tags or any markings that appear on the specimen is forbidden. Please also avoid using any material that could leave behind a residue.  Please alert staff to any misidentification of specimens you have been approved access to.

Do not remove any specimens from cabinets or shelves.  All requested specimens will be removed from the collection by staff prior to your arrival.  We do not allow any person to search through cabinets or shelves in the collections nor do we allow the  removal of any specimens from the collections by any person except collection staff.

Any protocol that may have a lasting effect on the specimens, must be approved in advance of your visit. 

Please see Destructive Sampling

Specimen Loans

Specimens are loaned only for scientific research. Research specimens are not loaned for teaching, nonscientific illustration, decoration or for personal or commercial use.  Loans are made only to museum institutions who assume full responsibility for the use, storage, and safe, return of borrowed material. Loan requests from students must be co-signed by their major professor.  


Loans are made for 6 months, after which the borrower must return all specimens or write for an extension. Specimens on loan must be properly stored in a closable cabinet protected from dust, humidity, light, and pests.  Wet specimens must be stored in 70% ethanol. Loans involving numerous specimens will be shipped as multiple shipments, each shipment being sent upon the return of the previous shipment. Second-party transactions are not permitted; recipient institutions may not ever transfer specimens.


To request a loan please fill out the Loan Request Form (link).


Destructive Sampling

Activities classified as destructive include the dissection of fluid preserved specimens, the removal of subsamples from integument and bone (e.g. hair, skin, osteocrusts), the sectioning of teeth and bones, removal of parasites, embryos, stomach contents, molding, etc.


Destructive sampling requests are given careful consideration and are not always approved. We must continually weigh the merits of the proposed research against our best estimate of future demands for the specimen. Please respect the final determination of our destructive sampling committee.


We do not loan specimens for destructive sampling to other institutions.  All destructive sampling must take place at The University of Arizona Museum of Natural History.  We are not able to offer sampling services for researchers. Further, researchers taking samples are responsible for their own supplies.

Requests for approval must be submitted by filling out a Destructive Sampling Application (link). 


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