The MVZ collections are open to visitors during working hours (Monday through Friday, 8AM-5PM) upon prior arrangement. Requests for after-hours access may be requested on special occasions. Visitors should contact the Staff Curator in charge of the collection they want to visit at least two weeks prior to the visit. Visitors who do not live locally and must make travel arrangements should make sure that the Staff Curator is available during the proposed visit, prior to making travel reservations.
Students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scholars also must make prior arrangements to use the collections before gaining access. Arrangements can be made for storing research specimens in a separate location in the museum if desired, e.g., for large long-term projects where comparative material are needed. In-house researchers should work with Staff Curators to make sure that all specimens are returned to their primary collection location before the researcher leaves Berkeley.
The Staff Curator will orient first-time visitors to the collections so that they are familiar with how the collections are arranged. It is critical that visitors pay attention and make sure that specimens are put back exactly where they are found. In some cases, the Staff Curator will prefer to have curatorial staff reinstall specimens after use.
On occasion, visitors may wish to bring material (e.g., zooarchaeological bones) into the collections for comparison with MVZ specimens. Although this is permissible, all outside material must be frozen for at least one week at -20°C or colder. Local researchers may use the MVZ Prep Lab freezer for this purpose, which has an average temperature of -25°C. Specimens that are frozen in the MVZ also will be quarantined for one week, so visitors should plan for at least two weeks of freezing/quarantine before the materials will be available for use in the collections.
Researchers who want to have comparative material shipped to the MVZ from another museum for comparative study must make prior written arrangements with the Curators of both institutions. This will ensure that both the sending and receiving collections are aware of the transaction and have copies of all associated paperwork. All incoming specimens received from other museums will be frozen for one week and quarantined for a second week prior to being available for use in the MVZ collections. Requests for large numbers of specimens may be broken into smaller installments for ease of processing and storage.