USGS Library


Welcome to the USGS Library! Authorized by Congress in 1879, the U.S Geological Survey Library is recognized as one of the world’s largest Earth and natural science libraries, providing services, collections, and expertise that are essential to the USGS mission and the global geoscience community.

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Library Tours Available

Library Tours Available

The USGS Library in Reston, VA will be offering tours the first Wednesday of the month at 11 a.m. Join us to learn more about the collections, history, and services of the USGS Library. 

Library Locations

Ask a Librarian

Ask a Librarian

Each library location has expert reference librarians available to assist with research and provide answers to reference questions received by phone, fax, or in person. To ask for reference assistance by E-mail, Ask a Librarian at


Date published: October 22, 2019

2019 Open Access Week: USGS Public Access Plan

Did you know that USGS has a Public Access Plan concerning published works? This website provides an overview on how to release or publish USGS scientific data. This includes information on best practices (e.g., file formats for data) and checklists for before and after a data review.

Date published: October 21, 2019

2019 Open Access Week: “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”

Join the USGS Library in recognizing Open Access Week and how the USGS supports this movement.

Date published: November 30, 2018

Researcher finds hidden gems in Denver Library Photo Collection

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) Denver Library houses an ...

Attribution: USGS Library


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Year Published: 2015

Minerals, lands, and geology for the common defence and general welfare, Volume 4, 1939-1961: A history of geology in relation to the development of public-land, federal science, and mapping policies and the development of mineral resources in the United States from the 60th to the 82d year of the U.S. Geological Survey

The fourth volume of the comprehensive history of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is titled “Minerals, Lands, and Geology for the Common Defence and General Welfare—Volume 4, 1939‒1961.” The title is based on a passage in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution. The late Mary C. Rabbitt (1915‒2002), a geophysicist who served with...

Rabbitt, Mary C.; Nelson, Clifford M.
Rabbitt, M.C., and Nelson, C.M., 2015, Minerals, lands, and geology for the common defence and general welfare—Volume 4, 1939–1961: Reston, Va., U.S. Geological Survey, 704 p.,

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Year Published: 2012

On-line access to geoscience bibliographic citations

On-line geoscience bibliographic citations and access points to citations are exponentially increasing as commercial, non-profit, and government agencies worldwide publish materials electronically. On-line bibliographic tools capture cited works, and open access content allows for freely obtained citations and documents. For this newsletter,...

Wild, Emily C.
On-line access to geoscience bibliographic citations; 2012; Article; Journal; EXPLORE: Newsletter for the Association of Applied Geochemists; Wild, Emily C.

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Year Published: 2004

The U.S. Geological Survey Library

Established in 1879, to build and organize a collection of scientific materials in the earth sciences, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Library is the largest earth sciences collection in the world. The USGS Library System is managed by the Geographic Information Office (GIO), Information Policy and Services Office, and includes four libraries in...

The U.S. Geological Survey Library; 2004; FS; 125-03; Geological Survey (U.S.)