National Geological Repository, British Geological Survey

Contact details


BGS Contact



The National Geological Repository is a national and international science facility and an integral part of the British Geological Survey. It curates and provides access to the analogue sample, record and data collections of the BGS, and includes substantial data deposited by industry (mining, energy, construction) and academia. Its unique collections of borehole cores, cuttings, samples, specimens, and related subsurface information from the UK landmass and continental shelf are used extensively by industry (underpinning a significant part of the UK economy), in research, and to support university teaching. It is a fundament principle of the scientific method that any published results should be repeatable. This requires the archiving of sufficient samples to support published observations and conclusions. This is also a requirement of the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management methodology. Re-purposing archived information and samples for new research saves money and time and thereby reduces risk. Parts of the collections predate the origin of the BGS in 1835. Key components include: • The National borehole core and sample collection, which also contains core and samples from onshore, and offshore UKCS hydrocarbon wells, and is used extensively by the industry when researching new prospects. The collection includes over 600km of drillcore from over 22.5k wells and would cost an estimated £200b to re-drill. • The major UK type and stratigraphic fossil collection (250k specimens), plus extensive microfossil (300k slides) and locality based collections (ca. 4m specimens) • The major systematic British rock collection, with over 200k thin sections and 1m samples • The largest UK geoscience records archive, with over 20km of shelving, and including all the original BGS field records and maps, well and borehole logs, site investigations, coal data, seismics, geophysics, geochemistry, etc. • Extensive book and map collections (UK & overseas) Direct access is provided to academic and commercial visitors and to the public. There are extensive online catalogues, and scans and images are provided of many of the specimens and records to generally under an Open Government Licence. Most BGS maps and publications may also be viewed online. Downloadable 3d models are provided of many of the type fossils.

Facility details

British Geological Survey (BGS)

National Geological Repository, British Geological Survey

Nicker Hill, Keyworth

British Geological Survey Logo