Research Use

Research Visitor Lindsey Leighton

Research visitor Lindsey Leighton investigating brachiopods in the type collection.

On average about 200 people visit the collections each year and about 2000 specimens are sent out on loan.

Requests for specimen images are increasing especially since we began the NSF funded type imaging and conservation project in June 2007.


Research visits to the repository are encouraged but must be arranged in advance.

The repository is on the J.J.Pickle Research Campus in north Austin. See location information here. Additional information is available through theĀ Commons Center web site including:

Area hotels


Preparing specimens for shipment requires careful attention to detail. All out-going specimens are imaged prior to departure and scans of the original labels are sent with the specimens. Extreme care is taken with packing to prevent any damage in transit. The loans are sent by reliable, trackable carriers, and borrowers are expected to return the specimens via a similar method. A normal loan period is six months.
Loan Policy

Loans may be requested by contaction our Collections Manager, Liath Appleton (


Sometimes a good image can answer the question and we encourage researchers to ask for images before they decide which specimens to borrow.

Images are particularly useful when the requested loan is from the type and figured collection or is extremely fragile.

Many of our collections already have images available. Future plans include complete imaging of the type and figured collection and any new accessions. The types database (PaleoCentral) isĀ available online and our complete catalog is also available via our Specify database web portal. The high resolution imagery includes multi-focus composites to provide the best possible rendition of the specimen.

High resolution images may be requested by contacting our Collections Manager, Liath Appleton ( Urgent requests, for specimens that are not yet imaged, will be considered.