GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 32-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


CUEVAS, Santiago1, GALLAGHER, Katie2, STEVENS, Jenny3 and VAN CLEAVE, Keith3, (1)Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO, (2)Front Range Community College, Fort Collins, CO, (3)U.S. Geological Survey, Library, Box 25046, MS 914, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) Library is considered the largest earth science library in the world. The USGS Denver Library houses two Special Collections, the Photographic Collection and the Field Records Collection. The Photographic Collection has more than 500,000 historic photographs dating back to the late 1880’s. The Field Records Collection contains archived field notebooks and maps contributed by approximately 1,400 USGS scientists over the last 135 years. The materials document USGS scientific exploration and discovery; however, less than ten percent of these materials are currently available online. The USGS Denver Library seeks to digitize these Special Collections to preserve and make them available online to researchers and the general public.

As UNAVCO Geo-Launchpad interns we contributed to the USGS Library’s digitization goals by digitizing four collections from USGS scientists: E.C. La Rue, J.O. Kilmartin, D.L. Peck, and W. G. Hoyt. Altogether we scanned 169 photographs, 4 field notebooks, 14 maps, and numerous miscellaneous field records. These scans were then uploaded to a USGS trusted repository platform, ScienceBase. Once uploaded metadata information was applied including: title, photographer or scientist, date, geospatial footprint. If the item was mentioned in a USGS publication, links were added to the USGS Publications Warehouse. This digitized information is used to support scientific projects like repeat photography. Repeat photography is a powerful visual tool that can show such changes as riparian vegetation or document changes in sediment to communicate to various stakeholders and the general public. By digitizing these historic photographs and scientific field records, and linking them to related information resources and publications, an integrated resource of information is created. This resource is available for anyone in the world to use to further their knowledge for scientific discovery.