National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program

Massachusetts: Geosciences Contributions Series

In 2014, the Massachusetts Geological Survey (MGS) proposed to complete scanning paper geology publications as digital documents for preservation and public access. The project involved scanning 21 publications held at the University of Massachusetts Department of Geosciences that only have limited print copies remaining (referred to as Geology Contributions). The 21 Geology Contributions are part of a larger collection of documents consisting of 75 publications; the other 54 publications were previously scanned with the support of a NGGDPP grant. The Geology Contributions were digitized using a copier/scanner and flatbed scanner. Through optical character recognition software (Adobe Acrobat), searchable pdf documents were created and made available on the MGS webpage for public access. Larger maps were scanned on a large format scanner in the Department of Geosciences. These Geology Contributions are typically 150 to 200 pages in length and many contain field maps. Generation of a high-quality, searchable digital product required approximately four hours on average. The MGS requested and received $3,071 for the proposed work.

The online availability of these documents has increased their usage and value to the public when doing background research for major engineering projects or subsurface investigations. The documents are used by environmental consultants doing hazard mitigation assessments, geotechnical firms working on large construction projects, and researchers planning major subsurface investigations.