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The natural history collections of the Museum of Biological Diversity in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, serve the interests of educators, scientific researchers, and the public. The Tetrapods Collections follow the general policies for the Museum of Biological Diversity at The Ohio State University.

As part of a public institution, we strive to provide fast and accurate access to the immense holdings of our research collections. We aspire to answer all reasonable inquiries, and we will make our data available to the fullest extent allowed by the abilities of our staff, equipment, and facilities.

Access to data does not imply access to the material items themselves. Please review detailed policy guidelines regarding access to the collections and the information associated with them below.

The Tetrapods Collection of the Museum of Biological Diversity at The Ohio State University grants loans to other museums or institutions on a 6-month term.

All specimens are subject to the Conditions for Outgoing Loans, below.

All specimens are generally provided free of charge; however, should any specimen be used for a commercial product the division reserves the right to request part of the proceeds. Income from commercial users will be used for collection improvements.


Conditions for Outgoing Loans

  1. Specimens will only be loaned to museums and academic institutions.
  2. The specimens can be loaned for a duration of 6 months; an extension may be requested in writing prior to the end of the initial agreement.
  3. The borrower needs to agree in writing to a list of loan conditions such as handling and storage of the specimens.

Please download the full loan agreement here.

For details, please email the Curator.

We generally allow destructive/genetic sampling for research projects but this will be considered on a case by case basis by the Curator.

Requestors need to outline the study plan with a clear statement of purpose, methods, and expected significance of the study. They need to include:

  • A justification for using destructive sampling
  • Why the project cannot be completed without the use of museum specimens
  • And provide evidence of their expertise in the technique(s) to be used and that the proposed study is likely to generate useable data.

Museum collections are expensive and time-consuming to build and maintain, and specimens are depleted by destructive sampling. Thus we encourage requesters to support the growth, maintenance and accessibility of biological collections.

Applicants associated with labs or institutions that do not maintain museum collections are urged to consider depositing voucher specimens at the Ohio State University Museum. Applicants who cannot reciprocate in kind may be charged a replacement fee to help defray the cost of acquiring and maintaining the collection.