Loans of objects for scientific research or public exhibition and education are subject to the Icelandic Institute of Natural History policy. The IINH uses the policies and procedures employed at major natural history collections (including the Collections Policy and Procedure at the Natural History Museum in London and the Loan Policy for Scientific Purposes at the Naturhistoriska riksmuseet in Sweden), in tandem with Icelandic legislation on museum artefacts (including the CITES Convention, Museum Act No. 141/2011, and the Act on the Icelandic Institute of Natural History and Natural History Museum Centres No. 60/1992), as the frame of reference for its Loans Policy.
I – Loans for Scientific Research
Collection items and specimens are loaned out for scientific research to full-time employees at recognised research institutions; loans are the joint responsibility of the employee and the institution. Loans to individuals working outside of recognised institutions are made only in exceptional circumstances. The IINH does not loan items directly to students: loans are instead made to a supervisor, who takes responsibility for the loan. Special permission is required for procedures and treatment that will cause damage to the objects, including but not limited to dissection, chemical analysis, DNA sequencing, thin sectioning, electron microscope observation. See special rules for sampling drill cores in chapter III.
Applicants for a loan must make a request in writing. A written contract will then be prepared that stipulates the loan period and includes a list of collection items to be loaned and an assessment of their condition. Type specimens and voucher specimens may be sent via registered mail if a supervisor deems this to be appropriate (see Article 3). Type and voucher specimens may be loaned for a maximum of six months. All other items may be loaned for a period of up to a year. Loans may be renewed; the loan period may not, however, exceed five consecutive years.
In general, no more than half the specimens for a given species should be on loan at any one time. Where multiple specimens are required, care should be taken not to transport many specimens together. All appropriate safety precautions shall be taken during transport and packing, as stipulated in the loan conditions. Damage to items during transport or while on loan must be reported immediately.
Loans of items that are irreplaceable or difficult to obtain or have a significant total financial value must be approved by a head of department and the accountable manager of the collection in question. The IINH evaluates in each instance whether research on an item must take place on-site or whether the borrowing party must purchase insurance for the loaned items. Should insurance be required, the IINH determines the insurance amount. A copy of the insurance policy or letter of indemnity must be on hand before items will be handed over and until they are returned.
The IINH reserves the right to refuse loans to parties in arrears and recall items on loan if conditions are not observed. When loaning out materials, IINH staff and research projects in which the IINH participates take priority. In such circumstances, loan requests may be deferred for up to a year at a time.
II – Loans for Public Exhibition and Education
Collection items and specimens may be loaned for exhibitions and educational purposes to recognised museums and public institutions. Loans are made to individuals, organisations, or companies only in exceptional circumstances, assessed on case-by-case basis. Loans are prepared in co-operation with the Icelandic Museum of Natural History.
For loans for exhibition purposes, a specific contract is to be drawn up. The contract must stipulate the following: guarantor at the institution in question, length of loan, means of transportation to the institution, insurance and handling of collection items, and conditions at the exhibition site. Decisions regarding loans are subject to approval by a Collections and Systematics Department specialist, who confirms that the premises of the exhibition where loaned items will be displayed meet safety, security, and conservation requirements. Items are loaned for up to three years at a time, after which time the loan contract may be renewed. The total loan period is not to exceed nine consecutive years.
All costs arising from loans and the installation of objects at the exhibition location are to be paid by the borrower, including any costs associated with lighting, photography, handling, packing, transport, and conservation where necessary, unless other arrangements are agreed to. All damage incurred during transport or with the borrowing party have to be reported immediately.
In instances where the loaned items are irreplaceable or difficult to obtain or have a significant total financial value, the IINH evaluates whether the borrowing party must purchase insurance for the loaned items. Should insurance be required, the IINH determines the insurance amount. A copy of the insurance policy or letter of indemnity must be on hand before items will be handed over and until they are returned.
The borrowing party may not photograph or otherwise replicate collection items for fundraising purposes or financial gain unless this is specifically agreed to.
The IINH reserves the right to recall any item on loan if conditions are not observed, if the borrowing party’s circumstances are altered, or if it becomes necessary to use the loaned item at other exhibitions or for scientific research purposes.
III - Sampling Policy of the Drill Core Library
This policy is intended to ensure balance between the utilization and preservation of cores and cuttings and increase the preservation value of the DCL collections.
Sampling of the drill cores and drill cuttings stored at the Drill Core Library (DCL) of the Icelandic Institute of Natural History (IINH) is permitted for research and analysis once permission has been obtained from the DCL curator.
It is also possible to borrow a more substantial portion of the library, e.g., entire drill cores, for teaching, research, or other specialized work. Such loans are governed by the IINH’s loan policy. Larger loans require the approval of the Department Director for Scientific Collections and Outreach and, in some cases, the Director General.
Results of analyses conducted on samples on loan shall be sent to the DCL in accordance with Article 7 of these rules.
Sample requests can be submitted by individuals who pursue research through research institutions, at businesses, or independently. Graduate students can also receive samples for their research projects; supervisors of undergraduate students must apply for samples on their behalf. The purpose of the sampling must be explained in writing when the samples are requested.
Samples shall be requested in writing on a dedicated form. Any destructive treatment of the sample, e.g., chemical analysis, thin section preparation or electron microscopy, shall be detailed on the form when the sample is requested.
If the recipient wishes to change their plans for processing a received sample (for instance by employing more analytical methods than originally declared), a written request must be made to the DCL curator. Upon approval of such a request, an updated form with information on the planned procedures will be issued.
Smaller requests are handled by the DCL curator. The curator can present larger or more complex requests to an expert committee at the IINH for evaluation.
Every core is a limited sample. Sampling should be conducted in moderation, in order that others might collect samples from the same core. The DCL also aims to preserve half of every core along its length. Exceptions to this general rule can be requested in writing from the DCL curator.
If a sample or a portion of a sample shall be returned after processing, this will be specially indicated when sampling permission is granted. As a rule, such loans are for a period of one year. Loans may be extended under special circumstances but never beyond a continuous loan period of five years.
The results of all analyses and measurements should always be sent to the DCL as soon as they are available. If a thin section is prepared from a sample, it should be sent to the DCL for preservation after analysis; alternately, a duplicate section may be prepared and sent to the DCL. The DCL is also prepared to receive research samples and sample residues for preservation.
Data sent to the DCL will be made public after the sampling or loan from the DCL is concluded. Upon request, the data can be kept under a moratorium, up to a maximum of three years. The data will be kept confidential during the moratorium period.
All costs associated with provision and analysis of samples, including shipping costs, will be paid by the recipient.
The IINH should be cited in any resulting publication and the reference of such publications be sent to the curator.