Scans and photos

As part of our continued commitment to putting more information out for open access, BGS has released a number of its digital image collections on OpenGeoscience. These include over one million borehole log scans, access to the GeoScenic photo archive and photographs of hydrocarbon well cores.

Terms of use

The borehole core photographs, borehole scans, hydrogeology maps of the UK and magnetograms are delivered under the Open Government Licence, subject to the following acknowledgement accompanying the reproduced BGS materials: "Contains British Geological Survey materials © NERC [year]".

GeoScenic and the Irish historical geological maps are delivered free for non-commercial use; use this material for private study, research and educational activities. See individual websites for specific terms and conditions.

Maps of the Geological Survey of Great Britain and IrelandBGS maps portal

This resource provides high resolution viewing images of almost all small and medium scale maps produced by the British Geological Survey since mapping started in 1832 and supersedes the Historical Maps application.

Core sampleBorehole core sample photographs

All BGS core samples are being photographed as high resolution colour images commencing with the UKCS (hydrocarbon) well cores. Access them here.

Borehole scansBorehole scans
The BGS Borehole record viewer offers direct, online access to the National Geoscience Data Centre collection of onshore scanned boreholes, shafts and well records.
Image from GeoscenicGeoScenic

View and download 1000×1000 pixel images from the National Archive of Geological Photographs.
Search Geoscenic using a map.

Groundwater modelHydrogeology maps of the UK

Maps of the hydrogeology of the UK that have previously been available in paper form through the BGS shop are now available to view online.

Irish historical geological mapsIrish historical geological maps

A range of historical geological maps, sections and memoirs of Ireland, mostly 19th century.

Library cardsLibrary services: online card catalogue

The card catalogue records items added to the BGS Library service from 1970 to the mid 1980s, when the computerised catalogue ENVIROLIB began.


BGS scanned collection of historical magnetograms - original recordings of the variations in the strength and direction of the Earth's magnetic field.

Mine plan 32120Non-coal mining plans

A range of mine plans from a variety of sources including the Health and Safety Executive mine abandonment plans, published mine plans and plans of mine workings.

Petrology thin section:S3023Petrological thin section images

Petrological thin sections (microscope slides) are being imaged (plane and cross polarized light) and progressively linked to the Rock Collections database. Currently about 100 000 Scottish thin sections are available (S & N registration series). 75 000 English and Welsh thin sections (E registration series) will be added in due course.