National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program

Resources to Preserve Collections

Methods used to preserve physical collections and associated data is dependent on multiple factors:

  • ownership (federal, state, academic, private entity), with associated rules and directives, and the long-term viability of the organization; 
  • condition of the collection and tasks required to rescue the collection from deterioriation;
  • availability of resources to preserve artifacts by restoration or digitization techniques;
  • long-term availability of resources to fund a hosting environment for digital data; 
  • ownership, sensitivities, and allowable reuse of collections and data.

Organizations may access separate systems to store digital data for preservation and dissemination to researchers and the public. USGS and partner efforts, including state geological organizations, may add metadata and data to the National Digital Catalog, which resides on the USGS ScienceBase data management infrastructure ( Whichever methods and systems are used to store and expose collections, open and accepted servicing and metadata standards should be employed.

Collections Management Guidance

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed the USGS Geologic Collections Management System (GCMS) to guide a unified collections management strategy, with proposed guidelines, procedures, and resources to preserve the scientific legacy of the USGS through its sample collections, as well as making these sample collections available for further study and use. This document may provide useful guidance to others for successfully managing collections. Access the Geologic Collections Management System Report


National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP)

The NGGDPP was established to provide for the preservation of geoscience data and samples. State agencies and USGS projects may elect to participate in the program to preserve geological and geophysical data and samples. To participate in the Program, submit an application during the proposal submission period. Visit the Grants page for more information.

State Geological Surveys

Collections representing valuable artifacts may be referred to the respective state geological survey. NGGDPP encourages collaborative projects, led by a state geological survey, to preserve resources valuable to the state and the public. Proposals may be submitted to the NGGDPP requesting funding for a preservation project that involves a state geological survey and associates (industry, academia, others).

USGS Organizations

NGGDPP provides funding to USGS collections and data preservation projects. USGS personnel are encouraged to involve their Program and/or Mission Area, or an associated USGS organization, to obtain "buy in" and partner with NGGDPP to preserve legacy collections.