Florida Museum of Natural History

University of Florida Herbarium (FLAS)

Loan Policies (Vascular, Bryophyte and Lichen Collections)

The University of Florida Herbarium, FLAS, is a unit of the Department of Natural History of the Florida Museum of Natural History. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences provides partial financial support for the inter-institutional loan program of the vascular plant, bryophyte and lichen collections.

  1. Loans are ordinarily made to institutions and not to individuals. The borrowing herbarium must accept responsibility for the safe custody and return of the specimens. Specimens must not be removed from the institution to which they are loaned without prior permission.
  2. Requests for loans must be signed by an administrator (director, curator, collection manager) responsible for the herbarium at the requesting institution. Email requests will be accepted from administrators of institutions with which we have an established working relationship. Requests should state the name(s) of the researcher(s) on whose behalf they are made, together with a statement describing the title, nature and scope of the investigation.
  3. Loans are made for a specified period. Please request an extension of the loan period if you require the material for further study.
  4. All specimens must be stored in standard herbarium cabinets, protected from all forms of damage, including insect infestation, and regularly monitored. They should never be left out unattended.
  5. Please handle the specimens with the care necessary to conserve them for future study.
    • Do not bend, fold, or turn sheets face downward.
    • Place all fragments in packets on the sheets.
    • Do not attach non-archival materials to the sheets such as removable cellophane tape and post-it notes. Sheets should not be stored in contact with non-archival materials. The acidic content of newspapers and other non-acid-free articles will migrate to the specimens and accelerate their deterioration. Our specimens are typically packed in white acid-free paper covers (please return those).
    • Never write on a herbarium specimen label or other person's annotation slip.
  6. The judicious dissection of specimens is normally permitted. All dissected portions and fragments, including permanent micro-preparations, must be placed in a suitable envelope attached to the herbarium sheet.
  7. Permanent removal of material from a specimen for any destructive analysis purpose, such as for SEM, DNA, palynological and anatomical studies, is permitted only with prior permission from the Keeper or Manager of the University of Florida Herbarium. Requests for destructive analysis should accompany a loan request and detail the specimens or materials required and the procedures to be conducted. Permission is granted on a case-by-case basis and may be granted only when the investigator returns a signed destructive analysis agreement.
  8. Specimen photography and scanning is permitted only under the terms of the University of Florida Herbarium Photograph Agreement (University of Florida Herbarium Photograph Agreement).
  9. All borrowed material should be annotated as fully as possible by the investigator. An annotation slip should be composed of acid-free paper and bear, at least, the determination, the name of the investigator and the date (use 4 digit year). Additional relevant comments are welcomed. Recommendations for type specimen annotations, which require more detail than other annotations, are available at the FLAS website. All marks should be made in permanent ink or be typewritten (not ballpoint pen, felt tip pen or pencil). Glue the annotation on the sheet in a blank space as near to the original label or most recent annotation as possible. Attach the slip with conservator-approved permanent glue (e.g., methyl cellulose, PVA white glue, DucoCement; not rubber cement or glue stick adhesive). Self-adhesive labels are not permitted; most are not archival!
  10. University of Florida Herbarium specimens should be cited with the accepted herbarium acronym "FLAS" when listed in a publication. Please inform us of all publications which are based upon or cite our specimens.
  11. Please return the original packing material, unless it is severely battered. The specimens should be packed in the white acid-free paper covers they were shipped in and packed similar to the way in which they were sent.
  12. We would appreciate receiving copies of publications based upon our specimens. These will become part of our herbarium library. If this is not possible, due to cost considerations, please provide us with a full bibliographic citation.