BOTANY DEPARTMENT POLICIES: USE | LOAN
| ACQUISITION | FEES
1. All specimen collections of the Academy shall be accessible for legitimate
research and study by all responsible investigators, subject to procedures
necessary to safeguard the specimens and to restrictions required by limitations
of normal working hours, of exhibition requirements, or available study
space and facilities, and of the Academy staff time necessary to protect
the collections and to guide investigators as to specimen locations and
2. The use of departmental collections or facilities by outside commercial
organizations, such as environmental consulting companies, will be at
the discretion of the department chairman, and normally will involve
a fee as reimbursement for curator or technical time involved
in assisting such organizations.
3. Individuals requesting access to specimens or records must state in
writing the purpose of their inquiries. Ordinarily, access shall be limited
to legitimate scholarly and legal inquiry.
4. In order to protect our collections from insect infestations we do
not allow dried plant material into the Department until the material
has been frozen, on site, for a minimum of 72 hours.
For Correspondence: Deb Trock, Collections Manager, Botany Dept.,
California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118,
1. The Academy will lend specimens, from its collections, for research,
to any recognized herbarium. Loans will not be made directly to individuals.
2. All loan transactions must be documented in writing, using appropriate
3. The following criteria shall govern the availability of material:
a. The materials are not being studied by staff or students at the
b. The materials are not needed for display or educational programs
at the Academy during the proposed loan period.
c. Objects shall not be loaned if, in the opinion of the department
chairman, they are of such importance, rarity, and/or fragility that
they must not be exposed to any danger or loss by removal from the Academy.
4. Length of Loans - Most loans shall be made initially for a period
of one year or less. Short loan periods are appropriate for certain items,
e.g. type specimens.
5. Modes of Study of Loaned Materials - Customary and usual methods of
study in the particular discipline must be applied to materials on loan.
If such studies require partial destruction or severe alteration of the
materials, written permission of this must be obtained in advance from
the department chairman.
6. All loans shall be subject to the following regulations, and no loans
shall be made where these rules are not adhered to:
a. CAS will pay for shipment of the loans to the borrowing institution,
but the return shipment will be paid by the borrowing institution.
b. Adequate care and security of the specimens while on loan must be
c. Only properly trained personnel shall be permitted to handle loaned
d. Loaned material or associated records may not be used for profit-making
purposes without specific written permission from the Collection Manager.
Photographic rights for exhibition, catalog, or publication purposed
normally shall be for one time only. In many instances, a fee to the
Academy may be appropriate.
e. No objects may be re-loaned by a borrowing institution without written
permission from the Collection Manager.
f. Loans must remain at the borrowing institution unless written permission
has been given by the Collection Manager to move the loan to another
g. Return shipping must be in the same manner as, equivalent to, or
better than the original shipping.
h. Specimens used in research publications must be cited as either
CAS or DS depending on their accession number.
a. Loss or damage to a specimen or object must be reported in writing
to the department chairman.
b. No repairs will be undertaken without written permission of the
c. Repair or replacement shall be at the discretion of the Academy
with costs borne by the borrower.
A. Priorities for Acquisition
1. First priority: to strengthen collection areas in which a department
has a current specialization and recognized holdings and historical interest.
This includes materials of direct use in present or projected research
or in current educational or exhibition programs; materials of high quality
needed to fill gaps or supplement specimens of lesser quality in the current
holdings; and materials from biotas, geologic strata, and cultures where
technological changes of habitat modification by man or nature place a
time limit on the period in which sampling can take place.
2. Second priority: to broaden the comparative base of our established
collection areas. This includes archival materials such as voucher specimens
for published research, synoptical materials from specialists, and materials
which will strengthen a collection area adjacent to a previously established
3. Third priority: to obtain collections of general nature which are
within the broad interest of the Academy. This includes interesting or
unique but inadequately documented specimens that are of limited use in
a scientific sense by may be used for exhibit or other educational purposes.
B. Mode of Acquisition
1. The Academy will acquire specimens primarily through field collection,
but also by gift, bequest, exchange, and purchase, for the purposed of
preservation, research, teaching, and exhibition.
a. The Academy will provide for storage, protection, and preservation
of objects under conditions that insure their availability and in keeping
with professional accepted standards.
b. It is intended that the objects shall remain in the collections
as long as they retain their physical integrity, their authenticity,
and their relevance for the purposed of the Academy.
2. The Academy normally will not acquire items for sale but may acquire
a. If gift/bequest collections, or parts of collections, are acquired
with the intent of disposal of a portion by exchange, outright gift,
or other means, the donor or heirs will be so informed.
b. If gift/bequest collections or parts of collections, are acquired
for use by one of the educational units of the Academy the donor will
be so informed.
3. It is recognized that acquisition of materials often must be opportunistic.
From time to time, collections of recognized national or international
significance become available, either from individuals or institutions
that no longer are able or willing to preserve, maintain, and use them
in research and educational activities. Acceptance of responsibility for
such collections may involve establishing a new interest area for the
Academy. Acquisition and accessioning of such collections must be judged
on their individual merits, carefully weighing the values and costs of
such acquisitions against the evolving programs and emphases of the Academy.
C. Laws Concerning Specimen Acquisition
Specimens will be acquired by the Academy only when they have been obtained
in full compliance with the law and regulations of the countries of origin,
of the federal government of the United States, and of the individual
states within the United States. The staff will not knowingly support
illegal trade by authenticating or expressing opinions concerning material,
and will discourage the collection or exhibition of such materials. Every
reasonable effort must be made to insure that these conditions be met,
that titles of the specimen or specimens may properly be transferred to
the Academy, and that the Academy keeps up to date on the changing laws
and regulations concerning permits, specimen collecting, ownership, and
movement across political boundaries
D. Ethics of Specimen Acquisition
Specimens shall be accepted that have been collected in such a way as
to preserve their scientific value, e.g., biological materials with adequate
documentation or archaeological and geological objects taken with proper
recording of site and stratigraphic data. Collections that involve unnecessary
destruction of sites, or decimation of populations having limited numbers
of tenuous existence shall now knowingly be made by staff members or accepted
by the Academy from others. In all actions, the Academy and its staff
must act as responsible conservationists and scientists aiming to preserve
and guard the living cultural heritage of the earth.
E. Conditions of Acceptance
1. Minimum requirements of documentation vary in the several scientific
departments. Such standards are necessary prerequisites for specimens
to be added to the collections.
2. Specimens with inadequate date, but having scientific or other value,
may be accepted at the discretion of the department chairman.
3. Undocumented specimens that are good examples of their type may be
acquired for use in exhibition and educational programs.
4. All acquisitions must conform to the following conditions.
a. Approval of the department chairman.
b. The legal and ethical stipulations set forth in Sections C and D
c. The material must be the legal property of the donor/institution/dealer
making the offer, or he/she/it must have legal authority to dispose
of said material.
5. The Academy cannot accept specimens on which restrictions are placed
with would prevent effective research use, normal exhibition use, loan,
or disposal. The Academy will not normally accept specimens on conditions
which would require that they be placed on exhibition, or that the collections
of which they form a part should be kept together permanently and/or displayed
only as a discrete collection. Permission to deviate from this procedure
must receive approval of the Executive Director.
F. Evaluation of Acquisitions and Other Materials
No person acting as an employee of the Academy shall give appraisals for
any purpose, including establishing the tax-deductible value of gifts
offered to the Academy, nor shall he or she identify or otherwise authenticate
for persons or agencies specimens under circumstances that could encourage
or benefit illegal, unethical, or irresponsible traffic in such materials,
or when there is reason to believe such identifications will be used primarily
for commercial purposes. Identification and authentication (but not appraisals)
may be given for scientific or educational purposes or in compliance with
the legitimate requests of government bodies or their agents.
COMMERICAL USE FEES
The use of departmental collections or facilities by outside commercial
organizations, such as environmental consulting companies, will be at
the discretion of the department chairman and subject to the following
$50/day (min. 1 day)
plus $100/hour (min. 1 hour) if help is required by a curator or the
collection manager and $25/hour (min. 1 hour) if help is required by a