Southeastern Section - 63rd Annual Meeting (10–11 April 2014)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:10 AM


LASSETTER Jr, William L., VA Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy - Division of Geology and Mineral Resources, 900 Natural Resources Dr., Suite 500, Charlottesville, VA 22903,

The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy - Division of Geology and Mineral Resources (DGMR) serves as Virginia’s geological survey. The primary mission of the Division is to gather and disseminate geologic and mineral resources information that supports sustainable development and a more productive economy in the Commonwealth. Since the early 1900’s, DGMR (and its predecessors in name) has maintained and added to collections of geologic materials including reference rock and mineral specimens, rock thin sections, core samples, well cuttings, and fossils that are presently stored in warehouse facilities in Charlottesville. The Division also maintains collections of geologic maps, historical photographs, aerial photographs, geophysical and geochemical datasets, manuscripts and publications, and unpublished mineral locality information.

Supported by funding from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program, DGMR has worked to organize and digitally catalog the physical specimens and data records contained in the repositories using a web-enabled database called the Virginia Geologic Information Catalog. To date, this work has characterized over 78,000 items contained in 21 separate collections that vary widely in format, size, complexity, data completeness, and physical condition. Notable achievements in this 5-year effort have included digital conversion of many otherwise inaccessible data records, developing and refining feature-specific metadata to optimize accessibility, preserving deteriorating records and specimens, and systematic quality assurance checking. Yet challenges remain in prioritizing and funding the advanced programming support needed to fully enable public access to these valuable repositories.