Regulations Governing Herbarium Loans

Regulations for herbarium loans are slightly differ among herbarium centres. The regulations are used as a guideline for safety and preservation purposes of the specimen collection. Herbarium loans are usually used by qualified botanist to do their research on plants taxanomy. Commonly, herbarium centre only accept the request for loans from curator of the institution or department and not from individuals.

In order to insure that those specimen loans are used in the best conditions and are protected and effectively preserved in the interests of future research, the regulations are made as follows: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

  1. Usually the loan period is for 3 months up to 1 year. The period is differ among institutions. However, due to the nature of the work which require a longer period to study the specimen, extension period can be made. Application for the extension must be applied before the loan expires and only acceptable upon written request. 
  2. The borrowing institution should return the specimen to the lending institution as soon as possible once they finished the indentification. 
  3. The borrowing institution is not allowed to transfer their specimen loan to another institution or researcher without written permission and approval from lending institution.
  4. The head of the borrowing institution is responsible for the safe custody and return of the specimen. The specimen loan should be keep in standards herbarium cabinet and handle with care for future studies.
  5. Specimen loan should be stored in insect-free airtight cases and avoid from direct sunlight. The specimen loan must be clean and keep the liquid material properly so that it does not dry out.
  6. Specimen loan should never be turned upside-down since it may cause damage to the specimen and to avoid missing the important parts such as flowers, fruits, leaves or pollen.
  7. Label should not be removed since it is used as reference by using permanent reference number. The borrowing institution must inform the curator if the label had been detach/ missing. 
  8. For any temporary removal or dissection of the loan specimen, the borrowing institution should request for permission from the lending institution. Only the minimum amount of the specimen part needed may be taken. A specimen loan may not be sampled a second time and only one specimen per taxon may be sampled.
  9. Specimen loan should be return safely and remains in its original condition. The specimen loan must be carefully packed to avoid damage during transit.
  10. The borrowing institution should acknowledge the lending institution if they use the information derived from the specimen in any publications or other materials.
  11. The specimen loan should be cited with the accepted lending institution acronym in any published specimen listings.
  12. The lending institution reserves the right to request the return of its specimen at any time. 


  1. Botanische staatssammlung München. 2010. Herbarium: Regulations Concerning the Loan of Herbarium Specimens. Retrieved 14 September 2010 from
  2. Auburn University. 2010. Auburn University Herbarium (AUA) Loan Policy. Freeman Herbarium. Retrieved 14 September 2010 from
  3. Duke University. 2010. Duke University Herbarium: Consultation and Loan of Specimens, Department of Biology. Retrieved 15 September 2010 from
  4. National Tropical Botanical Garden. 2010.  Regulations Governing Herbarium Loans. Retrieved 15 September 2010 from
  5. Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua. 2010. Allan Herbarium (CHR) Regulations for the Loan of Botanical Material. Retrieved 14 September 2010 from
  6. National Botanic Garden of Belgium. 2010. The Herbarium: Loans, visit and exchanges at the herbarium of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium (BR). Retrived 15 September 2010 from
  7. Valdosta State University. 2010. The Herbarium: Loan Policies. Retrived 15 September 2010 from