Donations and loans of materials collections

The BGS will consider offers of donations that contribute to the geological knowledge of Great Britain, provided they are fully and accurately documented. Cited material, or samples for which there is additional data, are a priority.

Depositing material with BGS corporate collections

Projects archiving material with BGS corporate collections in accordance with the standard accessions policy, are responsible for labelling specimens with official 'Collectors numbers' and supplying a properly completed collectors form (digital or hard copy) — complete with identifications, analyses etc. as appropriate. Corporate collections are then responsible for registering, databasing, curating and conserving the material.

Small donations that fit within the accessions policy are usually archived free of charge. Larger donations will usually require a payment to cover curating costs. The Chief Curator can provide advice on likely charges.


On notification, the curatorial staff will arrange for the prompt collection and curation/databasing of samples. Palaeontological material will be added to the PalaeoSaurus database and petrological material to the Britrocks rock collection database. Borehole material will also be added to the Borehole materials database.

Thin sections

Where petrological thin sections are required and the material is to be added to the E, F, N collections etc., collections staff will issue the E/F/N number and send the sample for thin sectioning. Upon its return, they will archive the offcuts (unless requested) and issue the thin sections as a loan.


All loans will be required to be renewed on an annual basis. When a loan has been outstanding for five years, curatorial staff will carry out a physical stock take.

Most of the collections are part of the public record and are made available through a not-for-profit cost enquiry service.

Contact Materials Collections

For further information contact Materials collections