Temporary closing of Smithsonian Bird collections

Tue Sep 9 16:06:44 CDT 1997

This message is being posted to several electronic discussion groups in
order that we may spread the word as widely as possible regarding the
temporary closing of the bird collections at the National Museum of
Natural History later this year. Please forgive the cross posting. Also,
current borrowers are being contacting directly by letter which will
include a listing of their current loan(s).

     Beginning as early as __January 15, 1998__, the entire collections,
offices and library of the Division of Birds and the Biological Resource
Division (formerly the National Biological Service) housed in the National
Museum of Natural History are scheduled to be closed for major
renovation to our antiquated heating and cooling system.  The renovation
is expected to require six months to a year to complete, during which
time these facilities will be totally inaccessible to staff and visitors. The
collections will be covered with plastic and sealed.  Those bird
collections housed at the Museum Support Complex at Suitland, Maryland
will remain accessible. The MSC collections include eggs and nests,
some mounted birds, larger anatomical (wet) specimens and a very
few study skins. A list of species housed at MSC is available on our web
site at http://www.nmnh.si.edu/vert/birds

     During the months before the actual "exodus", all collection-based
activities, such as preparing loans and other transactions, visitor use of
the collections (and library) and most information requests will slowly
cease as we move offices and research material.

LOAN RETURNS:   All borrowers who can complete use of their current
loans are requested to return them as soon as possible. Because of the
limited number of museum storage cases available to us during our
"exodus", anyone retaining borrowed specimens  will be asked to hold
them until after we have returned to the Bird Division proper in 1998 or

LOAN REQUESTS: We are establishing a cut-off date of  November 15,
1997 for the request of new loans.

VISITORS:  Tentatively, 01 January 1998 will be the last day that the
Division will accomodate visitors to the collections or library, but anyone
planning to visit in late 1997 is urged to contact us beforehand to
determine if all sections of the collection or library are available for use.

In addition to calling or writing for further information, you can contact the
following collection management staff through e-mail:

J. Phillip Angle  e-mail angle.phil at nmnh.si.edu
James Dean        e-mail dean.james at nmnh.si.edu

Requests for new loans should be directed to Dr. Storrs Olson
(Smithsonian) or Dr. Richard Banks (Biological Resource Division

Very truly yours,

J. Phillip Angle, Collection Manager
James Dean, Collection Support Staff

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