Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maryland Geological Survey – Data Preservation Efforts

Project Details


Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) shares the concerns of other organizations engaged in geological research – that geoscience 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 11 successive U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) grants to inventory its collections/data sets and to itemize its permanent collections. 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, and (where applicable) digitizing data and making it available online. A list of the collections for which MGS has submitted metadata to the USGS ScienceBase Catalog can be found here: .

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 Aerial Photograph Collection; and 2) the Rock Cuttings Collection. Previous NGGDPP funding supported activities aimed at preserving the MGS Land-Based Core 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

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,