Borrowing specimens

Under exceptional circumstances (and assuming the material is accessible), material from the collection may be loaned outside of Cambridge for short term loans of less than three months.

Requests for loans of specimens, or for renewals of loans, should be made in advance and in writing (including email) to the Collections Manager and relevant Curator. Please be aware that there may be periods of time when the Collections are either inaccessible or the Museum staff are unable to organise a loan. We will endeavour to limit disruption during this period but anticipate that we will not be able to deliver the level of service that we have maintained in recent years.

If issued, loans are made to the institution where the borrower works, rather than to individuals; and in every case a permanent member of the institution must agree to take responsibility for the loan. For example, in the case of a loan made to a student, her/his faculty advisor must accept responsibility for the loan.

Particularly rare, valuable specimens or specimens preserved in hazardous mediums will not normally be loaned.

If any of the species requested are listed on CITES Appendices I, II, or III, the borrower must provide their home institution’s CITES Exemption Permit Number when applying for a loan. For details of species listed on the CITES Appendices, visit the CITES website at

Last updated: 13 September 2017