Finding materials collections

The National Geological Materials Collection (NGMC) includes the core, palaeontology and petrology collections.

Core storeBorehole core and sample collections

Onshore boreholes, including hydrocarbon, mining, stratigraphical, geotechnical.
Offshore boreholes, vibrocores, gravity cores, grab samples.
UK Continental Shelf (offshore) hydrocarbon wells.

Sub fossil bonePalaeontology collections
Type and stratigraphical collection, survey collection,
micro-palaeontological slides.
Search: PalaeoSaurus online collections database
SpecimensPetrological collections
National reference collection, museum reserve (display quality) collection, building stones collection.
Search: Mineralogy & petrology sample database
Nirex storeNirex Geological Archive
The Nirex geological archive that was transferred from Nirex to the British Geological Survey (BGS) during 2000/2001
A selection of paper stored in the NGRC Discovery metadata

Material collections are described in the metadata system.

BGS stores over 15,000 borehole samples GeoIndex

Many items are individually located in their own section in the GeoIndex.

Manual searches

If all else fails, specimens can be located using the registers together with the locality card index. The Leeds Registers and Keyworth Registers are by 50k map sheet and can provide a useful entry point, but the London and Scottish Registers and the Museum and Donations Registers do not.

The card index may be searched by locality name, donor, seller, and county. It will list all appropriate Register entries, and each must be searched. A given entry should include the range of specimen registration numbers, any identifications, locality & horizon details, together with the collector/donor and the date of collection/donation.

The card indexes and registers should be consulted through the Collections staff in either Keyworth or Edinburgh.


If you have any queries, please contact the NGDC. They will be happy to help with any searches.