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Established in 1879 to build and organize a collection of scientific materials in the earth sciences, the U.S. Geological Survey Library is now the largest library for earth sciences in the world. The library system includes four libraries and is part of the Geographic Information Office of the USGS.

The original collection was based on exchange partnerships with domestic and international scientific organizations. Today the library holds over one million books and journals, 450,000 maps, 370,000 microforms, 270,000 pamphlets, 250,000 black-and-white photographs, 50,000 color transparencies, 15,000 field record notebooks, and 250 videocassettes. Materials include USGS publications as well as those produced by state and foreign geological surveys, scientific societies, museums, academic institutions, and government scientific agencies. The libraries in Reston and Menlo Park are designated as official depositories for selected U.S. Government publications.

The library collection is organized according to a specialized classification scheme developed in 1904 in consultation with the New York Public Library. A revised edition of U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2010 contains a complete description of the classification system.

In addition to the four libraries of the Geographic Information Office, the U.S. Geological Survey has other libraries associated with science centers and field offices across the country with collections closely related to the specialized research of their local USGS scientists.

U.S. Department of the Interior,
U.S. Geological Survey Library,
MS950 National Center, Reston, Virginia 20192 USA
Contact: Library Web Team
Last modification: 15 September 2004 epd
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