Exploring the archives


Photographing hand specimen

After capturing and completing the 220 000 images of the Scottish Sliced Rock Collection project the volunteers were eager for something new and different. A new project is now underway in Edinburgh as volunteers begin work photographing the BGS's extensive rock hand specimen collections.
31 May 2013


Historic map of Edinburgh

The complete collection of historical maps has now been released online via BGS OpenGeoscience. Over 2200 hand-coloured maps and sections from the whole of the British Isles are now available for viewing at high resolution.
04 April 2013


Gneissose semi pelite with magnetite

From the mid-1800s, thin sections have been created from rock samples taken from all over the UK. The collection includes sections from Scotland, Northern England and the England and Wales collection. BGS has been aiming to photograph these thin sections, to make them available to the wider public. All of the 100 000 thin section samples from around Scotland have now been photographed (two photographs of each) and will soon be available for public access on Britrocks, the rock sample database.
19 March 2013


Packing the core

The BGS moved the entire UK Continental Shelf cores (at least 172 000 boxes) from our Gilmerton site in Edinburgh to the shiny new, purpose-built facility at our Keyworth site near Nottingham. Lauren Noakes picked a box in the store at Gilmerton and decided to document its journey down south.
27 February 2013


Historic map

The BGS were carefully scanning their old, historical, hand coloured, one-inch maps of England/Wales and Scotland to put on the web for researchers. We came across what looks like the outline of a dinosaur from the shape of it, probably Tyrannosaurus rex! Now here is the fishy bit — if you look carefully there is text close by on the map denoting 'Saurian Bones'. Is this a coincidence...?
25 January 2013


Making a thin section

The BGS is currently running a programme to digitise the entire collection of rock thin sections. This consists of 100 000 thin sections in the Scottish Sliced Rock Collection, 11 000 in the later Scotland and Northern England (N) Collection and 80 000 in the England and Wales (E) Collection. Each section is photographed twice, in plane-polarised light and under crossed polars, and last week saw us taking the 150 000th image!
13 December 2012

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