Donations and loans of materials collections

BGS Data — National Geological Repository

The BGS will consider offers of donations that contribute to the geological knowledge of Great Britain, provided they are fully and accurately documented. Cited material, or samples for which there is additional data, are a priority.

Depositing material

Statutory deposits

Those depositing material under the Energy Act 2016 are required to follow the Reporting and disclosure of Information and Samples Guidance 2021 which includes guidance on core box specifications. The following charges are in place (all prices are subject to VAT and correct as at 1st April 2024)):

Core (price per box)

Cuttings (price per box)

New material – reboxing* £7.20 £7.20
New material – curation and storage Currently no charge (under review) Currently no charge (under review)
Supplementary material – reboxing* £7.20 £7.20
Supplementary material – curation and storage** £30.17 £25.71

*reboxing is required if material is not sent in the boxes specified in the Guidance above.
**curation includes photographing the material where the boxes contain core to enhance access to the collections.

Voluntary deposits

Projects archiving material with BGS corporate collections in accordance with the standard accessions policy are responsible for labelling specimens with official ‘collectors numbers’ and supplying a properly completed collectors form (digital or hard copy) complete with identifications, analyses etc. as appropriate. Corporate collections are then responsible for registering, databasing, curating and conserving the material.

Small donations that fit within the accessions policy are usually archived free of charge. Larger donations will usually require a payment to cover curating costs. The Chief Curator can provide advice on likely charges.

To accept new deposits to the Core Store, an application must first be submitted, outlining the science case.


On notification, the curatorial staff will arrange for the prompt collection and curation/databasing of samples. Palaeontological material will be added to the PalaeoSaurus database and petrological material to the BRITROCKS rock collection database. Borehole material will also be added to the borehole materials database.

Thin sections

Where petrological thin sections are required and the material is to be added to the E, F, N collections etc., collections staff will issue the E/F/N number and send the sample for thin sectioning. Upon its return, they will archive the offcuts (unless requested) and issue the thin sections as a loan.


All loans will be required to be renewed on an annual basis. When a loan has been issued for five years or more, curatorial staff may carry out a formal conservation condition survey at the borrower’s expense.

Most of the collections are part of the public record and are made available through a not-for-profit cost enquiry service.

Get in touch

For general NGR enquiries or to arrange a visit, please contact: or 0115 936 3143

Dr Mike Howe, Chief Curator

Telephone: 0115 936 3105

Alison Steven, Senior Records Manager

Telephone: 0131 6500 434

Andrew Morrison, Archivist

Telephone: 0115 936 3247

You may also be interested in:

BGS core store

National Geological Repository

The National Geological Repository holds our collections of borehole cores, cuttings, samples, specimens, and related subsurface information from the UK landmass and continental shelf.

Show more

National Geoscience Data Centre

The National Geoscience Data Centre collects and preserves geoscientific data, making it available to a wide range of users and communities.

Show more

Was this page helpful?

  • How can we make this section better?*

  • Please select a reason*

  • How can we make this section better?*