Alaska Technical Data Unit - Field Records Archives

Science Center Objects

This project is designed to collect, inventory, preserve, and make available the records of USGS geologic and minerals work in Alaska. Materials are organized in two broad categories of records: (1) Project History files, which contain field notes, maps, and fossil reports; and (2) Geologic Subject files, containing unpublished materials, correspondence, and the Economic Minerals files. Access to these records is provided to USGS staff, other federal/state/municipal workers, the mining community, university researchers, and members of the general public.

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Scientist examining geologic outcrop

USGS Geologist George Case examines granitic rocks in preparation for collecting samples for geochemistry and geochronology near the Boulder Creek prospect at the north end of the Darby pluton on the eastern Seward Peninsula.

(Credit: Susan Karl, USGS. Public domain.)

  • Organize, maintain, and preserve USGS geologic field records for Alaska, in accordance with principles of archival best practices.
  • Produce digital catalogs of the field records to facilitate finding and retrieval of documents.
  • Provide access to field notes, maps, and reports for interested parties.
  • Apply conservation measures to deteriorating materials.

Relevance and Impact

The USGS Alaska Technical Data Unit (ATDU) is a geologic archives of original materials created by USGS personnel during geologic field investigations in Alaska; the collection dates from 1891 to the present time and continues to accrue records from retired geologists and completed projects. These records are critical to the mission of the Alaska Minerals Team because they provide the framework on which modern geologic mapping in Alaska is based. In addition to their value to the geologic community, these records have also provided researchers with information regarding prehistoric Native sites, historic villages and townsites, and public rights-of-way.