Guidelines for Access to Collections

Museum Collections Guidelines

We welcome and encourage researchers to use our collection (online access to our collections is available here); however, our public trust also requires that we maintain conservation protocols and security of the collections and records. The following guidelines were developed to ease the process required to use our collections in research. Anyone not following these guidelines may be asked to leave the Museum’s storage and lab areas. Any changes from these guidelines must be obtained in writing in advance from the relevant Collections Person. 

  1. All research requests must be submitted at least 3 weeks in advance of the desired dates for a research visit that involves access to the Museum’s collections. 
  2. Researchers are responsible for providing a detailed list of requested objects that includes the following (where applicable), catalog numbers and relevant object typologies, object descriptions, material types, and site/locality numbers. Collections staff can assist, but cannot perform this process. Relevant site/locality records and catalog listings may be available with appropriate permissions from land owners for this purpose. 
  3. Only those listed on the Research Request Form will be permitted in the storage and lab areas of the Collections. 
  4. Research will be conducted at the Natural History Museum of Utah (UMNH) on weekdays (Monday –Friday) between 10:00am and 5:00pm. 
  5. Researchers must observe all Museum access and security regulations while in storage and lab areas, and must follow instructions from Museum staff. 
  6. Researchers must wear Visitor/Researcher badges at all times. 
  7. Researchers must leave all coats, umbrellas, backpacks, unneeded bags, briefcases, etc., in a designated area due to IPM regulations. The Museum does not assume responsibility for these items. 
  8. Any necessary bags or other possessions taken into storage and lab areas are subject to examination upon departure. 
  9. Museum staff may request the removal of potentially damaging jewelry and accessories from a researcher’s attire before allowing access to storage and lab areas. 
  10. Eating, drinking, smoking, and chewing gum in storage and lab areas is not permitted. 
  11. Researchers may not use ball-point pens, markers, ink pens, or other permanent marking tools while handling or researching objects. 
  12. Researchers are responsible for supplying their own equipment (e.g. cameras, computers, scanners, measuring devices such as calipers, magnifying loupes, etc.). Microscopes and guest WiFi are available. 
  13. For measuring objects, the use of cloth tape measures is preferred. When metal and plastic measuring devices are needed, the device should be approved by the relevant Collections staff. 
  14. Researchers may handle objects only with the permission of Collections staff. 
  15. Only Collections staff will move objects to and from storage equipment (e.g. shelves, drawers, cabinets) 
  16. For both the safety of the object and the researcher, disposable Nitrile or Latex gloves will be provided, and must be worn when handling objects. Note that collections may have been treated with harmful pesticides in the past and may react with human skin oils. 
  17. During object handling, tags or labels must NEVER BE REMOVED FROM OBJECTS. 
  18. Cleaning (even superficially), dusting and/or brushing objects is not permitted without consultation with Conservation or Collections staff. 
  19. Object photography is permitted, but only after a Researcher Agreement Form has been signed by the researcher and countersigned by the Collections Manager. Note that photography refers to images made in any medium. 
  20. Object illustration is permitted, but only after a Researcher Agreement Form has been signed by the illustrator and countersigned by the Collections Manager. Note that illustration refers to images made in any medium, including but not limited to pencil, ink, paint, digital, etc. 
  21. Object testing (material analysis) and replicating (rubbings, impressions, and casts) falls under the provision of the Museum’s Destructive Analysis Policy, and proposal for such must be arranged in advance of the research visit. 
  22. Researchers should submit to the relevant Collections or Registration staff one copy of any paper or publication that results from the work undertaken during the research visit. 
  23. Access to associated records for archaeological collections is restricted by law. Please be aware that you will need to sign a form before viewing the records. 

Research Request Form

Follow the links below to view and download your selected research request forms. More forms will be added when they become available.