The GB3D type fossils online project, funded by Jisc, has developed a single database of the type specimens held in British collections. These are specifically the type specimens of macrofossil taxa (species and subspecies) found in the UK. The database includes links to photographs, including ‘anaglyph’ stereo pairs, and a selection of 3D digital models.
You can now search for the 3D digital fossil models and photographs from various collections; you can also download and view many on your desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. This may require the installation of a supported web browser or 3D viewer software.
The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi and plants require that every species or subspecies of organism, whether living or a fossil, should have a type or reference specimen to define its characteristic features.
These specimens are held in museums and collections around the world and must be available for study.
Many of the UK fossil species were defined over a century ago and, with time, the type specimens may have deteriorated or been lost, causing major problems.
The BGS is partnered by:
- National Museum Cardiff
- Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
- Oxford University Museum of Natural History
- Geological Curators’ Group
Together we developed a collaborative database of British type specimens. It built on existing databases, exploring the use of schemas such as ABCDEFG and dictionaries such as the BGS Lexicon and Rock Classification Scheme (RCS) for the transmission and sharing of data.
The Geological Curators’ Group extended the partnership to local museums and other organisations holding type fossils.
The results are available through a single, searchable, web database. It includes links to view or download high-quality images, stereo-pairs (anaglyphs) and digital models. Images are delivered in JPEG2000 format via the BGS large image server and digital models are available in .PLY and .OBJ formats.
It also includes the ability to store and download other data types, as diverse as X-ray images and links to scans of original papers.
Get in touch
For general NGR enquiries or to arrange a visit, please contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Sue Roper, Geo-Information Collections Co-ordinator
Telephone: 0115 936 3127
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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.
Palaeontology and biostratigraphy collections
The BGS palaeontology and biostratigraphy collections are held at our Keyworth and Edinburgh offices.