NB. This is an English translation. In the case of discrepancy, the original Icelandic version is the authoritative text.
Loans of objects for scientific research or public exhibition and education are subject to Collections and Systematics Department 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, such as dissection, chemical analysis, DNA sequencing, thin sectioning, electron microscope observation, and so on.
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 value in financial terms must be approved by the Head of the Collections and Systematics Department and the accountable manager of the collections entity. The IINH evaluates in each instance whether research on an item must take place on-site or whether the borrowing party requires insurance for the loan. 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 exhibition and education purposes to recognised museums and public institutions. Loans are made to individuals, organisations, or companies only in exceptional circumstances.
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.
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.