Lending and borrowing collection items for research, public exhibition, and education are an integral part of the National Museum of Natural History’s mission to make the nation's natural history collections available to the widest possible audience. In general, loans from our collections are made to institutions or organizations, but loans may be made to private individuals when it is consistent with the community of practice within a scientific discipline.
Loan agreements for research purposes are made with the department or, when applicable, the division that owns the desired specimen. Each department or division holds its own loan policy that is specific to the items and types of specimens available for loan. Please refer to the individual department and division loan policies for further information regarding the initiation of a research loan agreement.