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Loan Policy

Ichthyology & Herpetology

Loan Request Procedure

Requests for loans must be made to the curator (contact data below) via a formal letter on institutional letterhead (pdf via email is acceptable) that states which specimens are being requested and for what purpose. An email may be sent in advance, but the letter must be received before a loan is sent out. Please visit the search page to search for specimens. Loans are made only to established researchers at recognized institutions with the facilities to properly house and care for the specimens. Students should request loans through their major advisor, who will sign the loan invoice and assume responsibility for care and return of the specimens. Researchers not affiliated with an institution may request loans provided that a recognized institution/individual is willing to take responsibility for the specimens.

Conditions and Terms

Materials must be stored and handled according to professionally accepted standards and within limitations specified in the loan invoice. Specimens must be maintained in the fluid and concentration noted on the loan invoice. Unless an exception is made, no more than ½ of our total specimens of a taxon (or total specimens from any area) will be loaned at one time; the remainder may be requested after the full return of the first half.

Invoices MUST be signed and returned upon receipt of the specimens. Specimen damage that occurs during transit must be reported immediately. Nomenclature or taxonomic changes should be indicated on the signed returned loan invoice.

The acronym TNHC should be used when referring to specimens in publications. Copies of all publications including references to TNHC specimens should be sent to the TNHC.

Costs associated with shipping listed specimens and USFWS "Premium Inspection Fees" must be paid by borrower.

Costs of returning specimens in the condition in which they were lent falls on the borrower. All loaned specimens must be returned.

Loan Period

Loans are for a period of 6 months, if additional time is needed a request must be submitted in writing to the curator before the due date.

Destructive Sampling

Requests to dissect or otherwise alter specimens must be made in writing to the curator, who will make decisions on a case by case basis. If permission has been given to dissect or remove parts, those parts must be returned labeled with the TNHC catalog number and associated to the specimen from which they were removed. Any products of preparation such as DNA samples, histological slides, etc, are regarded as part of the specimens and must be returned, unless specific permission to retain sub-samples or products is granted by the curator in writing.


Please see our Tissue Grant Policy for information.


Requests for permission to transfer loans should be made in writing to the curator, and written permission obtained, prior to transfer of specimens.


Type specimens will only be loaned if they can be shipped using a courier service such as FedEx, or hand-carried between the borrowing and loaning institution.


Visiting the collections is encouraged when possible, especially when dealing with type and/or rare specimens. Please contact the appropriate Curator and Collections Manager for more information.

Contact Information:

Email addresses


Dr. David Cannatella- Curator
Sect. of Integrative Biology, Univ. of Texas
1 University Station C0930
Austin, Texas 78712

Please send specimens to:

Dr. Travis LaDuc
Assistant Curator
Texas Natural History Collections
10100 Burnet Rd., PRC 176/R4000
Austin, TX 78758-4445


Dr. Dean Hendrickson - Curator
Texas Natural History Collections
10100 N. Burnet Road, PRC 176/R4000
Austin, TX 78758-4445

Please send specimens to:

Adam E. Cohen
Ichthyology Collection Manager
Texas Natural History Collections
10100 Burnet Rd., PRC 176/R4000
Austin, TX 78758-4445