Kentucky Geologic Core Digital Image Archive

Grants and Contracts Details


The Well Sample and Core Library (WSCL) of the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) requests a $226,181, three-year IMLS Museums for America Collections Stewardship grant to support digital photography, online access, and preservation of our geologic core sample collection and correlating metadata. The project laid out below will allow the WSCL and KGS to expand our audience reach and improve the quality of care of the most utilized portion of the over 3,000 rock core within our possession. IMLS funding will increase productivity and improve the management of our rock cores through the hiring of interns and purchase of labeling and tracking materials. Due to the current demand of our core library staff the tasks listed below are difficult to prioritize without outside resources including funding and labor. If approved this proposal will provide the Survey with the resources necessary to prioritize core photography and its ancillary components for 10,000 core boxes or a twelfth of our collection. As a result, the Survey's collection’s most popular and at-risk core will be photographed, relabeled, and rehoused as needed. These measures will protect our samples from further degradation which would otherwise deem them useless for purposes of research or education. Project activities will include: 1) Cataloging core box shelf locations; 2) Relabeling and barcoding the handled core boxes, including assignment of International GeoSample Numbers, IGSN (; 3) Rehousing 1,000 core samples with damaged or deteriorated boxes; 4) Photographing the contents of 10,000 core sample boxes which will include the 1,000 core samples set to be rehomed and an additional 9,000 of our most utilized and at-risk core; 5) Dissemination of photographs across KGS and IGSN online platforms; 6) Metadata collection and error corrections The WSCL receives between 600 and 1,000 visitors a year, and our online core holdings search page and interactive map receives roughly 1,500 unique users a year. The makeup of our patrons include those from academia, industry, educational programs, and the general public from throughout the nation and throughout the world. In addition to the preservation of our geologic core collections, our facility also hosts several educational workshops and professional meetings each year. Through the contribution of our well core samples to the IGSN registry, relabeling of our core boxes, and other tactics depicted in this proposal our collection’s online presence will grow, and our collection's value to our community will be preserved. As a result of this project the most popular and at-risk cores will have images made available online through the Survey’s website, and the IGSN online registry. Predictively the improved access will not only preserve these collections, but will also ease the demand of our staff to fill public requests by pulling said core boxes for physical examination. This will allow reallocation of their time to better focus on the photography and care of the rest of our overall holdings. The integration of new equipment including a label printer and handheld barcode scanner will also contribute to a more overall efficient workflow. A long-term goal of the WSCL is to address the issue of overcrowding by obtaining funding for either building expansion or offsite storage. The results of this project will give us the tools necessary to prepare for possible solutions including sample relocation, and apply for capital funding. Our success will be measured by monthly progress reports, and quarterly meetings, and the completion of our proposed products including online distribution of the photographs, updated Survey web pages, and the creation of a new story map and college level class exercises. Following the project period efficiency and an increase in our collection’s reach will be the largest indicators of success, and will be measured by web traffic, request numbers, and number of core boxes processed per month.
Effective start/end date10/1/189/30/21


  • Institute of Museum and Library Services: $243,472.00


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