Does the USGS have science libraries?

The USGS has the largest earth science library in the world. The Libraries Program includes central libraries in Reston, Virginia and Denver, Colorado along with small, topic-specific libraries in science centers scattered around the country. For assistance with library resources, send an email to library@usgs.gov or call 703-648-4301.

Holdings and services at science center libraries tend to reflect the center’s research specialties. Specialized collections include the Historic Topographic Maps Collection, Rare Books Collection, and Antarctic Research Center (Reston); and the Photographic Library and Geologic Field Records (Denver).

The public is welcome to visit USGS libraries and use their resources during working hours. Books cannot be checked out by the public, but they can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. USGS publications can also be accessed through the online USGS Publications Warehouse.

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Can I visit a USGS office?

Very few USGS offices are set up to accommodate visitors. Before stopping by a USGS office, you should check their website or call ahead to make sure that visitors are welcome. There are USGS offices in each state. Members of the public are welcome to use libraries that are located at some USGS offices , but materials can only be checked out...

Where are USGS offices located?

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has offices in every state . Our headquarters is located in Reston, Virginia. For assistance finding or contacting a specific USGS office, contact USGS Science Information Services by phone, email, or Web chat .

How do I contact the USGS?

For general inquiries, call 1-888-ASK-USGS (1-888-275-8747). You can also use this website to send us a message or to initiate a live Web chat with a USGS Science Information Specialist. Most of our employees are listed in our online Staff Profiles . USGS offices are located in every state. Please note, however, that most of them perform very...

How can I find U.S. Bureau of Mines publications?

After 85 years of service, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) closed in 1996. Certain functions, such as the collection, analysis, and dissemination of minerals information, have been returned to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). For information on former USBM programs or publications, please see the following sources: The National Technical Reports...

Are there geologic maps or publications for where I live?

Detailed geologic mapping has not been completed for the entire United States, but maps are available for most locations. Geologic maps at many scales and from many sources are listed in the National Geologic Map Database . Some geologic maps can be purchased in hard copy through the USGS Store . Download digital geologic maps for entire states...

How can I find out-of-print USGS publications?

Out-of-print USGS publications and maps, depending on series and date, can be obtained in various ways: Check the USGS Publications Warehouse for online availability. If the publication is listed but does not have a link to a digital version, contact the Publications Warehouse Team to request a digital copy. Borrow from your local public, academic...

How can I find publications of the USGS?

The USGS Publications Warehouse is an online catalog for searching all USGS publications and downloading free digital versions. USGS Libraries contain sets of all USGS publications plus many state geological survey publications. The public go in person to any USGS library to do research, but USGS library materials can only be borrowed by placing a...
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Date published: March 21, 2001

Not Just Another Library — At the USGS in Menlo Park

With more than 400,000 volumes and 35,000 maps, the library of the U. S. Geological Survey, at 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, is the largest earth-science library on the West Coast, and part of the largest earth sciences library system in the world.

Attribution:
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USGS Denver Library
September 26, 2018

USGS Denver Library

Photo of Building 41, which houses the USGS Denver Library and is located on the Denver Federal Center Campus in Lakewood, CO.

Attribution: USGS Library
Bookshelves filled with USGS bulletins
September 25, 2018

USGS Bulletins in USGS Library in Menlo Park

USGS Library has an extensive collection of USGS publications, including the bulletins pictured here.

Attribution: USGS Library
librarian looking at map in open map drawer
September 25, 2018

Maps in USGS Library in Menlo Park

USGS Library has an expansive map collection with topographic maps, geologic maps, thematic maps, and more. The collection covers the United States, other countries around the world, and other planets.

Attribution: USGS Library
maps shelved vertically on library shelves
September 25, 2018

Vertically Shelved Maps at USGS Library in Menlo Park

USGS Library has an expansive map collection with topographic maps, geologic maps, thematic maps, and more. The collection covers the United States, other countries around the world, and other planets.

Attribution: USGS Library
Closeup of a person's hand taking a book off a library shelf
September 12, 2018

Collections in USGS Library in Reston

USGS Library's collections and services are used by USGS staff and other researchers across the world.

Attribution: USGS Library
USGS publications on a library shelf
September 12, 2018

USGS Bulletins at USGS Library in Reston

USGS Library has an extensive collection of USGS publications, including the bulletins pictured here.

Attribution: USGS Library
USGS Library in Denver, computer terminals and reading area
May 18, 2016

Reading Areas and Public Computers at USGS Library in Denver

USGS Library locations offer collections and services to USGS staff and public researchers.

Attribution: USGS Library
USGS Library bookshelves and reading areas
May 18, 2016

Bookshelves and Reading Areas at USGS Library in Denver

USGS Library locations offer collections and services to USGS staff and public researchers.

Attribution: USGS Library
USGS Library Denver oversize bookshelves
May 18, 2016

Folio-sized Materials in USGS Library in Denver

USGS Library's collections and services are used by USGS staff and other researchers across the world.

Attribution: USGS Library
USGS
April 5, 2011

Treasures of the USGS Library

Since its creation in 1882, the USGS Library has grown to become the world's largest library dedicated to earth and natural sciences, holding more than 1.5 million volumes and 800,000 maps. Richard Huffine, Director of the USGS Libraries Program, will highlight some of the rarest, most valuable, and significant materials held by the USGS. These include early maps of

Image: Treasures of the USGS Library: Rare Book Room
November 12, 2009

Treasures of the USGS Library: Rare Book Room

The USGS Library contains a collection of rare books including those featured in this gallery. The collections housed in Reston, Virginia are closed and are available for use by appointment only.