Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maryland Geological Survey – Data Preservation Efforts


Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) shares the concerns of other organizations engaged in geological research – that geoscientific collections and data are valuable in their own right, beyond the lifetime of the projects during which they are collected or acquired, and that special efforts are required to preserve them.

To that end, MGS has applied for and received 14 successive U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) grants to inventory its collections/data sets, itemize its permanent collections, preserve geoscientific materials and data, and enhance discovery for further scientific research. These collections include both physical collections (rock samples, sediment cores, etc.) and derived collections (reports, maps, aerial photographs, seismic data, etc.). General information about the NGGDPP can be found here: .

The bulk of MGS’s work to date has included performing a general inventory of collections, creating detailed metadata records for items in certain collections (mainly core, cuttings and aerial photography), remediating storage of geologic materials, and (where applicable) digitizing data and making it available online. A working list of the geoscientific collections at the MGS is posted online in the USGS Registry of Scientific Collections (“ReSciColl”) formerly known as the National Digital Catalog:

MGS also produced a Long-Range Data Preservation Plan and established a Data Preservation Advisory Panel (DPAP) composed of members of the larger geoscience community, as well as others with expertise in data preservation. From its inception, the DPAP has fostered data preservation at MGS by helping MGS set preservation priorities and providing technical guidance on proper archiving practices.


With the help of NGGDPP funding, MGS is currently continuing its preservation efforts on two separate collections: 1) the Drill Cuttings Collection; and 2) the Land-Based Core Collection and beginning work to inventory third collection, geophysical logs. Current NGGDPP funding is also promoting the compilation and preservation of critical minerals resources data. Previous NGGDPP funding supported activities aimed at preserving the MGS Land-Based Core Collection and the historical Aerial Photograph Collection.

Please click the links below for information about each collection, including scanning status (if applicable) and collection inquiries:

Aerial Photograph Collection

Drill Cuttings Collection

Land-Based Core Collection

Critical Minerals Collection

Chesapeake Bay-Bottom Geophysical Data Collection

Geophysical Log Collection

Please click the link below for information about current and upcoming MGS NGGDPP grants:


More Information

For more information regarding the ongoing data preservation efforts at MGS, please contact:
Heather Quinn – 410-554-5522, or Anthony Resinger – 410-554-5541,