Request to Conduct Analytical Sampling


Prior to submitting a written request for permission to conduct analytical sampling, researchers are encouraged to schedule a visit to the Museum. This visit will enable the researcher to conduct a collections assessment and to select the specific items for which sampling permission is sought. For information on arranging research visits, click here

The research request should include the following information:

  • Date of request.

  • Requestor’s name, institutional affiliation, address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

  • Description of the project, including its significance, research methodology, and expected results.

  • Type of analysis proposed and information about who will perform this analysis, including name of institution and full contact information.

  • Explanation why noninvasive or nondestructive analyses cannot be used to address the research questions.

  • Discussion of other possible sources of objects and explanation of why the Museum’s collections represent the only or best source for sampling.

  • List of specific items requested for sampling, including Peabody Museum numbers.

  • Sample or size and/or weight.

  • If the requester is a student, the request must be accompanied by a letter supporting the project from the faculty member supervising the student.

The Approval Process

All analytical sampling requests are considered in committee and require approval by the Director. A minimum of eight weeks from the time that approval is granted and a final list of samples has been determined is required prior to actually conducting the sampling. If the request is approved, the researcher will be required to complete a “Permission to Conduct Analytical Sampling” form and agree to the following conditions:

  • No alteration, sampling, or testing of items in the Museum’s collection is permitted without prior written permission through a completed “Permission to Conduct Analytical Sampling” form. Under no circumstances is sampling permitted in the absence of the form, including on the basis of verbal discussions with Museum staff or administrator.

  • The researcher will provide the Peabody Museum with a complete copy of the analytical outcomes, including raw data, resulting from the sampling within two years of the date on which the researcher signed the “Permission to Conduct Analytical Sampling” form. The Museum will withhold these results from other researchers for five years of the date on which the researcher signed the “Permission to Conduct Analytical Sampling” form; thereafter, they will be generally accessible.

  • The researcher must agree to return to the Museum any remnant samples, including thin sections or sample blocks, within two years of the date on which the researcher signed the “Permission to Conduct Analytical Sampling” form. The researcher is not permitted to retain samples, sampling residues, or sampling products.

  • All costs of analysis, including packing and roundtrip shipping, are the responsibility of the researcher. If the Museum determines the request requires a burdensome effort to prepare, the researcher may also be assessed the costs of staff time.

  • Failure to follow Museum policy or guidelines may jeopardize future privileges for the researcher.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Please send your written request by email to or by mail to Registrar, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Mass. 02138.