Mycology

Conditions Governing Loans of Mycological Specimens

Mycological specimens may be sent on loan to the head of an approved mycological establishment at the discretion of the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ("RBG, Kew"). However, many requests for the loan of mycological collections are received by RBG, Kew each year, and processing of these places a heavy burden on the limited staff available for this work. In addition, postal costs are an increasing strain on the annual budget. Therefore, all demands for loans cannot be met, and some restriction on the amount of material sent out is necessary. 

All loans of mycological specimens by RBG, Kew are made subject to the following conditions:

1. Requests for loans must be made to the Director of RBG, Kew by the head of a recognised mycological establishment ("Recipient"), who is responsible for the safe custody and return of the loaned specimens. 

2. Requests for loans should state the names of the researchers on whose behalf they are made by Recipient, together with the scope of the work contemplated. Any loan to a postgraduate student will only be sent as the student approaches the final stage of his or her work. 

3. Required specimens should be listed individually, and all requests should include full data as to locality, collector and number, author and place of publication. Further "Saccardo numbers" are requested where possible for all taxa described prior to 1889, and synonyms or alternative names under which material may be filed are helpful. Blanket requests for all material of a taxon cannot be met, and loans will normally be limited to 20 specimens. Larger requests will be divided, with the second consignment sent on return of the first. 

4. Requests for types should relate to specimens known to be preserved at Kew. Due to staff constraints, RBG, Kew cannot process long lists circulated in duplicate to many herbaria. 

5. Specimens are normally sent on loan for a period of six months from receipt. It is requested, however, that loaned specimens be returned at the earliest opportunity, carefully packed to avoid damage in transit. An extension to the six-month loan period may be granted in exceptional circumstances following a written request. 

6. Recipient may not commercialise loaned specimens or any parts or derivatives thereof.

7. Recipient may not transfer loaned specimens or any parts or derivatives thereof to any party without prior permission from RBG, Kew. Loaned specimens may not be removed from the establishment to which they have been consigned. 

8. The permanent removal of parts of specimens on loan for studies or for culturing or similar use is not permitted. If such samples are required, a specific request must be made to the Director of RBG, Kew. Portions of specimens for applied research, e.g. biochemistry or electron microscopy, will be supplied only if material is adequate for the purpose, and resulting SEM/TEM photographs must be sent to RBG, Kew in exchange for any material provided. All microscope slide preparations must be returned to RBG, Kew. 

9. The use of loaned specimens for DNA extraction is strictly forbidden, unless permission is expressly given by the Director of RBG, Kew. In the event of permission granted, an aliquot must be supplied for deposition at RBG, Kew.

10. Determinavit labels, written in permanent ink, and other notes useful for future researchers should be loosely inserted in packets for return with the loan to RBG, Kew. 

11. Reprints resulting from the study of RBG, Kew material should be sent to the RBG, Kew Library. 

Email mycology@kew.org