Loan Conditions

Loans from the Australian Tropical Herbarium (CNS) are subject to the following conditions. Once a loan is approved, researcher(s) must complete a CNS Loan Agreement to confirm that they have agreed to the loan conditions. Any variation to the loan conditions requires written consent from the CNS Director or Collections Manager.

Storage and handling

1. Specimens must be stored in a clean area free of insects and other pests; and under climatic conditions that inhibit insect activity and fungal growth (recommended conditions: 16-21 deg. C and less than 50% relative humidity).

2. Specimens must not be handled in any way likely to cause damage, and must be kept in their original folders or packets.

3. Specimens must not be subjected to fumigants or treatments other than freezing (such as methyl bromide, ethylene oxide, proprietary brands of insecticide, microwaving, dry heat treatment or irradiation).

4. Specimens must remain at the receiving herbarium. Specimens must not be transferred to another herbarium without the written consent of the lending herbarium.

Removal of material

5. Material must not be removed from type specimens without the written consent of the lending herbarium.

6. Removal and dissection of parts or extraction of pollen/spores from specimens is permitted for routine taxonomic examination, but only when the tissue or organ is in sufficient quantity to leave similar material on the specimen intact.

Dissected flowers, fruits or other parts, where practical, should be returned to the sheet in a zip-lock or polypropylene bag, labelled with the accession number of the specimen. Flowers which have been rehydrated for dissection may be laid out in a folded square of paper, annotated with the accession number of the specimen and reattached to the sheet with a plastic-coated paper clip.

7. Specimens must not be destructively sampled for SEM preparation, DNA extraction, phytochemical or isotope studies, without the written consent of the lending herbarium via a Destructive Sampling Request.

8. Duplicate specimens must not be removed without the written consent of the lending herbarium.


9. Annotations (determinavit or confirmavit slips) must be provided for every collection, and include the current taxon name (including author), researcher’s name, date and any relevant comments.

10. For type specimens, annotations must include the type status, basionym and protologue details if not already indicated.

11. Annotations must be in typescript or permanent ink (not ballpoint pen) on archival-quality slips. Self-adhesive slips are acceptable, provided they are of archival quality.

12. All annotations must be on separate slips. Alterations must not be made to existing slips.

13.  For specimens on sheets, annotations should be affixed to the right-hand side of the sheet, where possible, and above any existing annotations. Do not place annotations over existing slips, labels or the specimen.

14. For specimens in packets, annotations should be affixed to the card inside the packet (fungi and lichens) or to the inside of the packet (bryophytes and algae). Annotations should be affixed to the left-hand side of the card or packet, below any existing slips. Do not place slips over existing slips or labels.

15. For specimens comprising mixed taxa or collections, each component should be clearly indicated with a separate annotation slip. Material can be separated but only if loose (e.g. material in packets).

16. Specimens that cannot be named, or those found to belong to taxa not under consideration, should be annotated with slips to the extent possible.


17. Specimens may be photographed for research reference purposes. Images must not be used in any publication without the written consent of the lending herbarium.

Citation and acknowledgement

18. Researchers should ascertain the conservation status of taxa under study. Many Australian taxa are conservation-listed at a national or state/territory level. For such taxa, particularly 'sensitive' taxa that are likely to be subject to heavy amateur or commercial collection, localities should be cited with some circumspection. In such cases, consideration should be given to generalising a locality (e.g.: 'E of Cann River', rather than '17.8 km E of Cann River on Princes Hwy”) while retaining enough other data in the citation to allow unambiguous identification of the specimen.

19. The lending herbarium must be acknowledged in any publication(s) that present results derived from the loaned specimens and must also receive a copy of any resultant publication(s).

Return of loan

20. Loans must be returned as soon as possible after the completion of study, and within the specified loan period (generally 12 months). Extension of the loan period may be granted on request.

21. Where possible, loans should be returned in their entirety. The partial return of loans can be negotiated with the lending herbarium.

22. Specimens must be returned by traceable postal service. Specimens must not be returned via courier service (e.g. FedEx, TOLL, DHL) without the written consent of the loaning herbarium.

23. Specimens must be securely packaged to prevent damage in transit.

NOTE: Quarantine requirements exist for the return of specimens from outside Australia. Refer to CNS loan documentation for details.