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Collections policies

UCMP resources are available for use by qualified researchers. Loans of specimens are available to qualified researchers, and exhibit loans are available for non-commerical and educational purposes.

Visitors to UCMP are expected to handle specimens and archival materials properly and comply with collections policy governing use. Proper use insures that UCMP collections will be available for future generations. Violations of these rules will result in loss of access to UCMP collections and facilities.

UCMP rules for facilities and collections use

  • All users must specify the collection they want to use; permission for access to one collection does not authorize use of others.

  • Users must obtain permission before examining any collection or using laboratory areas. Your cooperation helps staff track use of the collections and comply with environmental health and safety requirements. See Contacts below.

  • All users must obtain permission from a Museum Scientist before removing any specimen(s) from UCMP collections. See Contacts below.

  • If you are a UCMP faculty curator, graduate student affiliate, staff member, or director-approved UC staff, please read our collections policies for UCMP researchers for specific information on the use of UCMP collection materials.

  • If you are a researcher from an institution other than UCMP, please read our collections policies for non-UCMP researchers for specific information on the use of UCMP collection materials.

  • Destructive analysis of UCMP fossils must be approved in advance by the Museum Scientist overseeing the specific collection and the Assistant Director for Research and Collections. Deposition in UCMP of histological slides, digital files, and data generated in these studies may be required. Please review current UCMP destructive analysis policy.

Record searches

The UC Museum of Paleontology maintains a database for its collections and conducts record searches for qualified contractors and environmental consultants for a nominal fee. For all fossil collections based locality information and paleontology sensitivity requests, please submit an email to: Many UCMP invertebrate localities are not geo-referenced in the database so computerized record searches are not possible for these collections at the current time.

UCMP charges a minimum fee of $500 for record searches. This fee assumes the site of interest occurs on a single 7.5' topographic quadrangle (or up to four contiguous sheets). Additional information is billed at a flat rate of $500/4 contiguous topo sheets. For larger projects, you can estimate your bill by dividing the number of topo sheets by 4 x $500. You can also access the UCMP database online. Please note, the UCMP website does not serve longitude/latitude data or detailed locality information for fossil sites on private property. In addition, detailed locality information for U.S. public lands may also be unavailable due to current government regulations regarding the management of paleontological resources. Locality information is served to the public at the county level only using Berkeley Mapper. In most cases, this is sufficient for preliminary evaluations of paleontological resources within or near a construction project.

Record search requests must contain the map coordinates or a map of the project area. Email, contact and billing information are required. Requests without this information will be returned. No large files please. If the project area is greater than four adjacent quadrangles, an estimate of the cost based on the physical scope of the project area can be provided. After the search results are provided to the contractor by UCMP, the contractor will receive an invoice issued by the Berkeley Natural History Museum administrative office. If after receiving the results, a visit to the collections is necessary, there is a separate $800/day fee for access to the UCMP paper records and collections. Computer record searches by the UCMP staff will not be performed as part of this visit. All visits to the UCMP collections must be arranged in advance with the appropriate collections manager.

Accessioning collections
A minimum $500 fee for accessioning a mitigated collection is required. If it is determined by the Assistant Director for Research and Collections that specimen cabinets and drawers are required to house this collection, they will be purchased by the contractor and delivered to UCMP by prior arrangement with the Museum Scientist responsible for this collection.


UCMP collections management, exhibit loans, and lab use: Mark Goodwin, (510) 643-9745 or contact info here

Invertebrate collections:

Microfossil collections:

Paleobotany collections: Diane Erwin, (510) 642-3921

Vertebrate and element collections: Patricia Holroyd, (510) 642-3733

Record search requests: