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Sample Archive

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Taking Mud SamplesThe Harvard Forest Research Sample Archive currently contains roughly 370 boxes of soil, litter, and tree core specimens. The entire collection has been cataloged in the Samples database, which contains (for each box) an access code, list of investigators, project title, study site, date of collection, description of material, and number of specimens.  A catalog of these samples is available.  Contact Julie Hall if you have questions at

Policy for Submission of Samples

  • Samples will be accepted from HF affiliated researchers only who have submitted supporting data and metadata. 
  • Research team must submit Sample Archive Submission Form for each unique submission.
  • Submissions must be received within one year of project completion.
  • Storage requirements (i.e. cold storage, dry storage) must be determined at time of submission
  • Standard box sizes and labeling locations should be used with all items.  Exceptions to this policy must go through the archivist for approval.
  • Length of storage must be determined at time of submission and/or revisited every 5 years
  • Electronic connection to data and/or document archives databases
  • Disposal of materials will be coordinated with original investigators if not determined at time of submission or by HF staff if investigator is no longer available.
  • HF has the right to refuse submission due to space limitations or non-mission critical materials
  • Materials that we cannot dispose of later due to known hazardous waste will be NOT be  accepted
  • Special disposal requirements must be identified at time of submission
  • In some cases, a fee may be charged for storage containers, assistance and/or sampling.

Policy for Use of Samples

  • Use of samples by anyone other than project personnel must be approved in writing by the project PI (Principal Investigator) or the Director
  • Once permission has been granted.  Project PI will provide oversight with regards to amounts of materials, # of samples, etc…
  • A fee may be charged for staff time to provide samples and help with extraction of materials.
  • A recording of use will remain with the record