Researcher Resources for Specimen Collections


Templates and Instructions for Transfer of Collections Data

Templates for transfer of collections data to the park museum curator will assist researchers to collect specimen data and export it to the Interior Collections Management System, which NPS uses to catalog specimens that are permanently retained in the park museum collection. These templates will assist the researcher in meeting the permit requirement to complete catalog records for the specimens. To transfer specimen data to the NPS catalog (Interior Collections Management System), use the Biological Template (12 KB XLS), Geological Template (12 KB XLS), or Paleontological Template (12 KB XLS), as appropriate. Follow the Instructions on Preparing and Submitting Natural History Specimen Data (231 KB PDF). Researchers should coordinate with the park curator before using the templates as the park may modify them to meet park-specific needs.

Repository Agreements

General Agreement between National Park Service and the American Museum of Natural History on Management of NPS Animal Tissue Collections

AMNH-NPS Agreement (344 KB PDF) – Procedures to implement the Agreement are addressed in the Guide to Collect and Deposit below. First Amendment (268 KB PDF).

Procedures and Requirements for Threatened and Endangered Animal Tissue Samples Collected in Parks

If you propose or are permitted to collect threatened and endangered (T&E) animal tissue samples in parks, the following documents provide special guidance that you will need.
  • Collectors T&E FAQs (218 KB PDF) - For collectors, this document, providing Frequently Asked Questions, is the quickest introduction to the procedures. It includes contact information for assistance.
  • Guide to Collect and Deposit (222 KB PDF) - Complete Guidance for Collection and Deposit of NPS Threatened and Endangered Animal Tissue Samples in the Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection, American Museum of Natural History. This guidance provides detailed instructions and contact information to facilitate the management of animal tissue samples from federally listed threatened and endangered species that are collected in units of the National Park System and managed under an agreement between the National Park Service (NPS) and the American Museum of Natural History, Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection (AMCC). The instructions are for individuals collecting samples, NPS permit coordinators, NPS curators, and the AMCC curator.
  • AMNH-AMCC NPS Deposit Form (90 KB PDF) - AMNH/AMCC NPS Specimen Deposit Form, required to deposit T&E animal tissue samples collected in parks at AMCC.

General Agreement between National Park Service and Smithsonian Institution for Custodianship of National Park Service Natural History Collections

NPS-SI Agreement (194 KB PDF) - Parks may offer selected specimens to the Smithsonian Institution. If the Smithsonian accepts the offer, the Smithsonian will gain permanent custodial responsibility for the specimens, while NPS retains ownership responsibility.

Agreement between National Park Service and Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona, On Behalf of its Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research on Management of NPS Specimens Collected for Tree-Ring Analysis

NPS-Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (473 KB PDF) - This agreement covers natural history and cultural collections made on national park system lands for the purposes of tree-ring analysis and loaned to and stored and managed by the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona. It also covers associated records. All past collections and future collections that NPS offers and LTRR accepts will be covered.

Agreement between the National Park Service and the American Type Culture Collection

NPS-ATCC Agreement (602 KB PDF) - This agreement covers living NPS biological collections (such as microorganisms) from parks that ATCC maintains as cultures in its "National Park Service Special Collection" and distributes upon request to the scientific community. Procedures for deposit and distribution to third parties are on the ATCC website. First Amendment (199 KB PDF), Second Amendment (214 KB PDF), Third Amendment (195 KB PDF), Fourth Amendment (1.36 MB PDF)

Last updated: February 6, 2019