Materials collections

Since the beginnings of the Survey in 1835, the gathering of geological material has been one of its more significant functions.

Over time, many important collections have evolved, including: Biostratigraphy and Palaeontology; Onshore and Offshore drillcore, borehole samples and associated specimens; Petrology and Mineralogy; Building Stones and Geochemistry.

These collections are now managed as a Project under the Information Management Programme, in a coherent, integrated and professional manner for the benefit of all BGS staff, industry, academia and the public.

The materials collections include the core, palaeontology and petrology collections.

We are seeking suitably qualified people for the Corporate Collections Advisory Committee.

As part of the move to Heriot Watt, parts of the NGR will be unavailable for short periods of time. Read more about NGR: temporary closures in Edinburgh

Specimen drawer Depositing materials collections

Most of the borehole logs held are from shallower depths and are deposited voluntarily by external parties engaged in site investigations.

Pyromorphite-wheal Alfred, hayle Cornwall, UK Finding materials collections

Looking for a particular type of record? Information on Borehole records, site investigation reports, geological maps, mine plans and more can all be found here.

Keyworth Core Store Using materials collections

Visiting hours and links to online applications are found here.

Mineral Materials collections holdings

Our collections are extensive and wide-ranging and cover most aspects of the geosciences. They underpin our maps, reports and many of our data sets, and are available for further study. Some samples may be available for loan. Sub-sampling of many boreholes is allowed, subject to certain conditions. Online databases provide easy access to information about samples.

Mariopteris - Plant - Carboniferous Materials collections gallery

A collection of our favourite Materials collections images.

SCRAN rocks, fossils, minerals - thin sections Legal framework

The full history of legislation affecting the rights and obligations of BGS. This section covers BGS’s rights to data and also its obligations.

Digital fossil model viewed as an anaglyph JISC funded project: GB/3D type fossils online

The GB/3D type fossils online project aims to develop a single database of the type specimens held in British collections of macrofossil species and subspecies found in the UK; including a selection of 3D digital models.

Contact Materials Collections

For further information contact Materials collections