ALA Loan Policy

The collections of the UA Museum of the North Herbarium (ALA) are available for scientific observation by all qualified visitors. Requests to borrow specimens will be considered from recognized botanical institutions or departments.


A loan must be requested by an official staff member of the institution, not by students or non-staff scientists. State for whom the material is being requested and the nature of their project. Provide the names (including synonyms) under which specimens are likely to be filed. Specify the geographical area desired for the requested species. Please do not request type specimens unless and until they are necessary for critical analysis. State if a selection of material, especially common species, will meet the needs of the investigator.


If the requested taxon is represented in our herbarium by more than 5 collections in our herbarium, our practice is to retain selected sheets for comparative purposes. If a requested loan involves a significant quantity of specimens, we encourage the investigator to visit and personally select from the available material. Loans are made for one year unless otherwise stipulated by ALA. However, we ask that loans be returned at the earliest opportunity; partial returns are acceptable. An extension of the loan period may be requested through a written request to the Collections Manager. ALA reserves the right to request the return of its loan material at any time.


Type specimens must remain in their folders. - The unprinted newsprint used for packing all specimens may be removed. - Verify the number and condition of specimens.

  1. Sign, date and return invoice to the Herbarium.
  2. All recipients are required to comply with ALA's conditions governing loans from the Herbarium.
  3. Upon receipt of loaned material, each recipient will be required to sign and return the loan policy document to ALA indicating the recipient's agreement to these conditions


Herbarium sheets must not be laid face downward, bent or folded. Herbarium specimens should be stored in dry, sealed cabinets to avoid insect and fungus infestation, and not left on countertops or open storage for extended periods of time.


Only with prior approval from the Curator of the Herbarium may material be dissected or removed from any herbarium specimen. If you agree to the conditions, sign this form and mail it to ALA (Stefanie Ickert-Bond, Curator, UA Museum of the North Herbarium, University of Alaska, 907 Yukon Dr., PO Box 756960, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6960) along with your sampling proposal. You will receive back a copy either granting or denying permission to remove samples for destructive analysis from ALA herbarium specimens.

When requesting to sample herbarium sheets:

  1. Describe briefly your project and state the purpose for which the sample will be taken.
  2. Describe the technique to be used on the samples.
  3. Describe how you have successfully used this technique before on fresh or dried material.
  4. State the amount of material required from one specimen (in both mg and area).
  5. State the number of samples required.
  6. State the criteria you will use to select specimens for sampling.

I request approval to dissect and remove material from ALA herbarium specimens.

________________________________________________ ______________________ Signature Date ________________________________________________ ______________________ Name Title ANNOTATIONS:

Existing notes, labels, annotations, etc. must never be removed, obscured, or altered. We would appreciate any amplification of label data that may be obtained from duplicates on loan from other herbaria. Please supply this information on an annotation label and cite the herbarium sheet from which this data was taken. Before returning specimens, if the investigator is confident of the identification, a determination (or affirmation) label should be glued to the herbarium sheet, above or near the original label whenever possible. This annotation should be legible, prepared with permanent ink, and should include the taxon name, the investigators name, institution, and date of determination. Do not write directly on the herbarium sheet except to indicate the different elements of a mixed collection. If a sheet contains more than one taxon, clearly delineate each element of the mixture, and annotate each element with a separate determination slip. Type specimens should also be annotated with the basionym, citation of the publication, and an indication of the status (e.g. holotype, isotype, syntype, paratype, etc.). Please remember to annotate any separate fruits or bulky specimens that correspond to a herbarium voucher sheet.


Specimens must not leave the premises of the borrowing institution unless prior commitment of willingness to accept transfer is obtained from the proposed recipient, which must be another recognized botanical institution, and prior permission is granted by ALA.


Specimens should be packed in a way similar to that in which they were received. Place each herbarium sheet between a folded sheet of interleaving (preferably unprinted newsprint) so that any fragments which may loosen during shipment can be associated with the proper specimen. A stack of specimens not more than 6" (1.5 dm.) high, should be securely bundled between cardboards for support. Bundles should be soundly packed, allowing for no movement of the material, in a sturdy shipping box. US collections borrowed by institutions overseas should be returned by airmail. Accompanying the returned specimens, we would appreciate a list of synonyms derived from the taxonomic study for which the specimens were borrowed. Proper cross references can then be placed in our herbarium which will facilitate proper filing of specimens not annotated by the investigator.


Use the standard internationally recognized acronym "ALA" when citing collections of
the UA Museum of the North Herbarium in publications. Researchers using ALA
specimens for genetic work are requested to submit the DNA sequences to GenBank
accessions citing the herbarium specimens by catalog number (GUID, see link below).
GUIDs for vascular plants are UAM, those for cryptogams are UAMb.

For example:
You can find the GUID for each specimen in Arctos.
GUIDs are displayed in the first column of the specimen results window. Please use
GUIDs when submitting records to GenBank under "source/specimen_voucher,". (Definition at TDWG.)

If the correct term is entered by the owner of the GenBank accession under
"source/specimen_voucher," then the catalog number will appear on the GenBank
sequence page as a link to the specimen record. These reciprocal links to GenBank were
first established in Arctos and provide a very valuable and immediate metric for granting
agencies to measure the use of our collections. An example in GenBank.

Do not cite barcode number; it is not permanent. We would appreciate receiving any
publications resulting from studies based on our collections.

The recipient of the loan agrees to the condition governing loans made from ALA.

________________________________________________ ______________________ Signature Date ________________________________________________ ______________________ Name Title