Collections

Sample trays

Sample trays

For more than 170 years scientists of the British Geological Survey have collected stratigraphically and taxonomically important macrofossils and microfossils.

BGS fossil collections comprise several million specimens from the UK, its continental shelf and from overseas. Part of the material forms the National Collection of Stratigraphical Fossils housed in purpose built museum accommodation at Keyworth and Edinburgh.

The extensive macrofossil collections cover all the major invertebrate fossil groups (including sponges, corals, brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, ammonoids, graptolites, trilobites, echinoids, crinoids) and plants, arranged according to the stratigraphical interval from which they were collected. There are also nationally important vertebrate fossil collections. The bulk of BGS fossil material is represented by the Survey Collection, catalogued according to the locality from which it was collected. Many specimens in the Survey Collection are from localities that are no longer available for study.

The BGS also has extensive microfossil collections, including type, figured and cited material. The collection comprises about about 240 000 slides in Keyworth and 6450 in Edinburgh.

This material is an important resource for BGS biostratigraphical work, and is an essential part of the evidence for the geological linework that appears on BGS maps.

Specimens are available for study at either Keyworth or Edinburgh and a loan system is available to accredited scientists.

More information about accessing the National Collection of Stratigraphical Fossils.

Type and Figured Purbeck Wealden Ostracoda

Wealden Ostracoda

A catalogue of specimens deposited in the museum collections of the British Geological Survey

This useful and informative report is the published product of a compilation of data on the type and figured specimens of 'Purbeck' and 'Wealden' Ostracoda held in the collections of the British Geological Survey. The largest part is concerned with the specimens illustrated by F W Anderson between 1939 and 1985. The 355 entries included in the catalogue comprise 29 genera and 142 species.

This report is released for download here in PDF format and should be read using appropriate software, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. This software is freely available and can be downloaded from Adobe's web site.

Download a copy of the report.

Fossil guides

The Fossil Focus series is a popular publication designed to inform non-specialists about the nature and usefulness of different fossil groups. They are produced as folded A3 cards, carefully written to explain key technical terms and lavishly illustrated with photographs of fossils and cartoons to illustrate the environments and mode of life of the animals and plants most commonly found as fossils.

Fossil Focus Guides

Subjects covered by the series are:
Ammonites
Belemnites
Bivalves
Brachiopods
Corals
Crinoids
Echinoids
Fish
Foraminifera
Gastropods
Graptolites
Ostracods
Plants
Trilobites

Order copies of these guides

Records and datasets

Records and datasets

Records and datasets relating to the extensive fossil collections, are held at the Keyworth and Edinburgh offices.

Biostratigraphical Open File Reports present data and scientific interpretations resulting from macro- and micro-palaeontological investigations.

Non-confidential datasets and open file reports are available for consultation on request.