Biostratigraphy Collection | Murchison House

The Survey Collection is stored in mobile racks with trays ordered by locality and registration number The Survey Collection is stored in mobile racks with trays ordered by locality and registration number

The Edinburgh Biostratigraphy Collection is housed in an environmentally monitored fossil store that is close to a fully equipped palaeontology laboratory.

The biostratigraphical material is almost exclusively derived from exposures and boreholes in Scotland. It comprises three main collections:

  • Survey Collection of about 430 000 registered specimens (including 30 000 specimens donated by the late John Smith)
  • Type and Stratigraphical Collection of about 16 000 registered specimens (about 11 000 of which now reside at Keyworth)
  • Palaeontological Slides Collection of about 6500 registered micropalaeontological slides and fossil thin sections.

There are several digital datasets associated with the Murchison House Biostratigraphical Collection. For a full introduction and summary description go to the Palaeontology pages of their Discovery metadata.

The Survey Collection, which has been in existence since 1869, is stored in mobile racks with trays ordered by locality and registration number.

The Type and Stratigraphical Collection, which is very largely derived from the Survey Collection and comprises taxonomic types and generally well-preserved comparative material, is stored chronostratigraphically and taxonomically in six cabinets in a Museum area within the Fossil Store.

The Palaeontological Slides Collection, which includes donations from eminent workers such as Garwood, Lee, Clough and Smith, is stored in a wooden cabinet in the museum area, the trays being ordered by registration number.

Whilst the collections were developed primarily for BGS use, application for a loan may be requested by anyone. The materials can be studied in the Palaeontology Laboratory where bench space, a binocular microscope, scientific literature and records, and a developing conservation facility are available.

Contact Materials Collections

For further information contact Materials collections