National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program

National Digital Catalog

Access National Digital Catalog

The National Digital Catalog serves as a metadata repository for geoscientific physical samples inventoried and archived by State Geological Surveys. Annually, since 2007, through a competitive proposal process, the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) has awarded federal funds to State Geological Surveys to inventory and catalog physical samples, producing metadata records adhering to NGGDPP metadata pofile. Over 2.7 million metadata records have been uploaded to and made publicly available in the National Digital Catalog.

The National Digital Catalog resides on the ScienceBase data management infrastructure, being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for use by USGS and partner scientific efforts. ScienceBase ( offers many advanced features, including automated generation of web services, security settings, public access and use, flexible metadata formats (from standards-compliant formats to various schemas, including NGGDPP), data/metadata ingestion methods, spatial geometry assignment and services, directory services promoting discovery of scientists and organizations, vocabulary services, and more.

Navigating Collections in National Digital Catalog

All users may view collections and samples in the National Digital Catalog. Logged in users may add and edit metadata records for their geological organization. In the National Digital Catalog, each State geological organization has a folder structure. Each State collection folder contains sub-folders for separate physical sample collections. Select folders and sub-folders to view their contents. Each sample is described in an individual summary page, showing information provided by the State describing the item, including mapped location.

For example, Geological Survey of Alabama folder includes 20 physical sample collections, one of which is the Cenozoic Fossils of the Toulmin Collection from Alabama. Each item in this collection may be selected to display the sample summary page, showing all sample metadata provided by Geological Survey of Alabama. Alabama's Toulmin Collection's metadata page shows information about the collection, including associated child items or samples within the collection, mapped sampling locations for items belonging to the collection, and files associated with the collection. These associated CSV or XML files are uploaded to the National Digital Catalog and attached to the collection metadata record. The attached files are processed and parsed into separate metadata records that comprise the collection.

Log in to add and edit sample information

Each State participating in the NGGDPP has designated personnel authorized to write (add and edit metadata) to the National Digital Catalog. New data providers requiring accounts and permissions to add and edit information to the National Digital Catalog should contact, requesting an account.

For Data Providers – Data Submission Process

1. Generate file containing metadata describing collection samples. See metadata preparation instructions.

2. Upload and process file using Data Provider Dashboard. See data provider guidance.