BGS Library

Services and facilities

Since our founding in 1835, the BGS Library has grown and developed into one of the world’s major earth science libraries.

We have extensive collections of books, maps, journals and BGS publications. We also hold special collections of British geological photographs and archive material, chiefly the historical archives of the BGS. The BGS Library at Keyworth holds reference literature and documents to support bibliographical services both to staff (at home and overseas) and to members of the public.

The BGS Library is part of the NERC Library Service.

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The map collection contains over 200 000 maps and atlases. Maps comprise single maps, sheets in series, items in books and serials and range from hand-drawn maps pre-dating the foundation of the survey to modern digital plots.

Subject coverage is mainly geological and related themes and most of the world is represented. Medium-scale, topographic maps are held for the UK (1:50 000; 1:25 000) and (usually) small scale worldwide.

Search for a map in our catalogue.

For enquiries on maps (or about any of our collections) please contact the BGS Library.

To purchase a BGS-produced map, please visit our bookshop.

All aspects of the geosciences are represented in the BGS Library’s book collection of approximately 100 00 items. Acquisitions from 1980 can be searched in the library catalogue.

The BGS Library holds a comprehensive collection of all BGS publications, details of which can be found in the library catalogue. Copies of all memoirs, sheet explanations and sheet descriptions, reports and staff papers are held by the Keyworth library.

The largest collection in the BGS Library is the journal collection. This consists of approximately 12 000 serial titles of which 700 are current. Some of these are purchased, but many are received as gifts or as part of exchange agreements with geological surveys throughout the world. Please check the library catalogue for holdings.

Opening hours

The BGS Library is open Monday to Thursday 09:00 to 17:00 and Friday 09:00 to 16:30.

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Find out more about our work


About BGS

As the national geological survey, we are the UK’s premier provider of objective and authoritative scientific data, information and knowledge to help society understand our Earth.

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BGS core store

Our data and services

The BGS offers a range of services and information for businesses, home-owners, policymakers and the general public.

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BGS archives


The BGS archives hold approximately 40 000 personal papers, administrative and scientific records.

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BGS library cards

Library 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

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