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The Division of Anthropology loans objects to museums and AMNH-approved exhibition venues. Exhibition loan requests are made in writing to the appropriate curator no less than 9 months in advance of the desired loan period, and are accompanied by an AAM facilities report, prior to consideration by the Loan Committee.
The Division of Anthropology is currently facilitating the maximum number of exhibition loan requests that we can reasonably accommodate in 2023-2024. We are unable to consider any new requests at this time. We will resume considering new exhibition loan requests on September 30, 2024.
The Division of Anthropology loans objects to researchers with institutional affiliations for study and/or destructive analysis. Study loan requests are made in writing to the appropriate curator no less than 3 months prior to the expected delivery, and are accompanied by a detailed project description, prior to consideration by the Loan Committee.
Research on human skeletal remains and funerary objects is wide-ranging and of broad cross-disciplinary importance to anthropology, archaeology, zoology and paleontology as well as to other fields such as medicine and forensics. In permitting research on human skeletal remains and funerary objects, the Division of Anthropology remains committed to science and carefully weighs the scientific merit of research proposals with the interests of modern stakeholders and descendant communities who have an interest in the management, interpretation, and disposition of collections.
The Division of Anthropology strives to foster collaborative working relationships with source communities from which objects and remains are acquired and welcomes recommendations for the care and management of culturally sensitive material. Such dialogues are vital and continue to be a priority as the Museum confronts the challenges of curation and exhibition. Examples of ongoing partnerships between the Museum and indigenous communities throughout the world are found on the Museum's Descendant Communities page.
In accordance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which was passed in 1990, the Museum provided inventories of human remains and associated funerary objects as well as summaries of potential unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony to relevant federally recognized Indian tribes.
NAGPRA does not address loans or destructive analysis nor are we aware of any established professional standards that might provide direction in this area. In the absence of such guidance, the Division of Anthropology will only rarely consider requests for sampling of human remains as it undertakes an internal policy review.