The Yale Peabody Cryo Collection (YPCC) is to serve as a special
facility for the storage, curation, and preservation of Peabody Museum
of Natural History specimens at cold and ultra-cold temperatures.
1.2 The YPCC welcomes donations of properly documented and accessioned specimens from the Yale community and beyond. These donations become the property of the Peabody Museum.
1.3 The YPCC welcomes reciprocal loan agreements with other, similar, museums and institutions to attenuate risk for loss or damage to specimens.
1.4 The YPCC will provide vouchering and informatics services in support of research at the Peabody and affiliated academic departments at Yale.
1.5 On a contingency, contractual, and fee basis, the facility may provide ultra-cold storage for the Yale research community for specimens or samples that do not belong to the Peabody Museum of Natural History.
2.1 The Collections Manager of the YPCC is responsible for compliance with YPCC policies, monitoring of access to the facility, curation and preservation of the YPCC holdings, supervision of staff and casual help, and general fiscal year reporting of acquisitions, loans, and holdings.
3.1 Preservation. The YPCC stores its holdings in a fashion that preserves bio-molecules by minimizing organic and biochemical activity in the material using any number of methods, such as desiccation, buffering, and ultra-low freezing.
3.2 Acquisition Guidelines. The YPCC will accept new acquisitions following these principles:
3.2.1 The scientific value of the acquisition, as judged according to the mission and activities of the Peabody Museum and its affiliated staff, is worth the burden of storage.
3.2.2 The YPCC has suitable space, equipment, and personnel to insure that the acquisition is preserved, curated, and managed with professionally accepted standards for the foreseeable future.
3.2.3 Acquisitions will remain in the collection so long as they retain their physical integrity and scientific value as determined by article 3.2.1
3.2.4 Acquisitions must be accompanied by data and meta-data in an electronic format that can be easily imported into the YPCC’s information management system.
3.2.5 Species determinations must be made wherever possible, although delayed species determination using voucher material is allowable if the donor promises to fulfill this requirement in due course.
3.2.6 If vouchering is at all possible (physical specimen housed elsewhere, digital image, etc) then it or its metadata must be made available and referenced in the YPCC’s information management system.
3.2.7 Acquisitions must be legal and in compliance with domestic and international laws and regulations governing the collection, exportation, importation, and ownership of the materials. Acquisitions must be accompanied by supporting legal documentation unless vouchers for this material are already incorporated into the Peabody Museum’s general collections.
3.2.8 Acquisitions that pose any kind of biohazard or danger must be reported to the Collection Manager and labeled and treated accordingly.
3.3 Approval of Acquisitions.
3.3.1 Unexceptional acquisitions offered by way of Curators or Collection Managers from other Peabody Museum departments can receive approval for acquisition by the Collection Manager. Differences in opinion over acquisition approvals will be resolved by the YPCC advisory committee.
3.3.2 Unusual material that imposes special demands on the YPCC, or material offered from a source outside the Peabody, will receive approval by the Collection Manager in consultation with the Assistant Director for Collections and Operations and the YPCC advisory committee.
3.4 Accessioning of Acquisitions. All acquisitions must be accessioned into the YPCC’s information management system at the highest reasonable level of granularity judging by the likely future research purpose. In cases where phylogenetic analysis or DNA barcoding is likely to result, each specimen must be accessioned individually. In cases where different parts of a specimen have distinct value, each should be accessioned separately. Lots of specimens (e.g. a dense sample of krill) can be accessioned as a group if separating out individuals is excessively laborious.
3.5 Undocumented Specimens. Potential acquisitions that do not fully meet YPCC requirements regarding documentation, accessioning, species determination, and specimen meta-data, can be stored by the YPCC on a temporary basis for evaluation and to allow a reasonable time for the requirements to be met. The length to time accorded to potential acquisitions for temporary storage is negotiated with the Collection Manager.
3.6 Gifts, Donations, and Purchases.
3.6.1 All gifts, donations, and purchases become property of the Peabody Museum and are subject to the legal requirements and proper documentation of compliance, title, and provenance as stipulated in 3.2.7. However, the Peabody Museum is not a conservation or enforcement authority and cannot assume responsibility for ensuring the legal status of donations. Ultimately, responsibility lies with the donor to secure all relevant accompanying documentation and ensure that all samples are in compliance with domestic and foreign laws and regulations.
3.6.2 Ownership of gifts and donations are transmitted to the Peabody Museum by way of a legal instrument of conveyance, setting forth an adequate description of the objects in question, according the right of the Peabody Museum to transfer title, and signed by the donor.
3.6.3 Except under unusual circumstances, any object acquired by gift or donation is free and clear of any restrictions by the donor as to future use or disposition. Any departure from this requirement needs approval by the Director of the Peabody Museum.
3.7 Permanent Loans.
3.7.1 The YPCC does not accept material on permanent loan, except in cases where objects or collections are owned by government agencies or institutions whose own policies do not allow for transfer of title.
3.7.2 Custodial arrangements and permanent or long-term loans must be documented in writing and signed by the lender. The document explicitly describes the purpose of the arrangement; the rights to use the material, especially for destructive sampling, scientific research, publishing, and patenting the results of research; financial obligations of each party; the duration of the agreement and the right of the Peabody Museum to return the material; any ethical and legal obligations of the Peabody Museum during custody and upon early termination or normal completion of the arrangement.
4.1 Intramural Peabody Museum Access.
4.1.1 The YPCC core facility in West Campus is rated bio-safety level two (BSL II) and will not be open to unassisted access in the absence of YPCC personnel trained in safety and access procedures.
4.1.2 The YPCC satellite facility in the basement of the ESC is designed to serve as a dynamic staging area for new acquisitions, and as such, Peabody Museum staff will be accorded unaccompanied access on an individual basis by the YPCC Manager.
4.2 Destructive Sampling. Use of the YPCC’s holdings normally entails some amount of permanent destruction. Consequently, the facility is required to balance the current research needs of users with the needs of future users. The YPCC Manager will triage requests, and those requests that have a higher level of impact on future needs will be decided on in consultation with the Collection Manager or Curator of the museum’s relevant department.
4.2.1 Requests for destructive sampling of loans from the YPCC are to be made in writing on institutional letterhead by the principle investigator in charge of the research activity. This letter should provide justification for the request in terms of scientific merit and in terms of effective and efficient use of the material, including offering a reasonable timetable for completion and publication of results. The requester must promise to acknowledge the YPCC in any resulting dissemination and list YPCC accession numbers in publications and third party database submissions (e.g. Genbank deposits). The requester must promise to return unused portions of the tissue, and in cases involving DNA extraction, the recipient must promise to return a significant quantity of unused DNA extraction in buffer, which will then be incorporated into the YPCC as a derivative product. Additionally, in cases involving DNA or RNA sequencing, the YPCC requests that the recipient promise to deposit the sequences or the Genbank accession numbers with the Peabody’s YPCC database.The requester must sign a Material Transfer Agreement available from the YPCC website.
4.2.2 Failure to make a good-faith effort to comply with expectations may negatively affect the ability of the requester, and other researchers a the requester’s institution, to receive loans and perform destructive sampling on YPCC holdings. The leadership of the requester’s institution will be informed of any issues in this regard.