New Hampshire Geological Data Preservation became apparent with the recent loss of several bedrock core collections. The renovations of the state’s Walker Building required removal of several core collections that had been stored there. Having no other place to put them, the “NH Strategic Mineral Core Set” was moved to a local barn. The core set from the Conway Geothermal Borehole, at over 3,000 feet the deepest geologic boring in New Hampshire, had to be dumped in a pile in local yard. Boxes of cores stored outside at Sewall’s Falls, were so badly deteriorated that they we bulldozed into a hole on site. Drilling core is not an easy or inexpensive process. Loss of all this valuable geologic information could have been avoided if a secure, weather tight storage facility had been available.
NHGS is a growing and dynamic bureau, and the scientific information we provide is becoming recognized for its value by other state and federal agencies, educational institutions, the private sector, and the general public. Additionally, New Hampshire possesses a rich geologic history related to the historic mining and mineral extraction that dates back to colonial times when geologic resources were vital to settlement, growth, and the development of the wealth of our fledgling nation.
As part of the data preservation program, NHGS has begun to digitally reproduce and store rare geologic data from the State Geologist’s archives, including numerous out-of-print geologic reports that are often requested by other state agencies, researchers, educators and students. Some of this material is rare and includes the only extant copies. Some existing data, samples, and manuscript materials have been obtained from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of New Hampshire, when moving and renovation began on campus. Additional holdings from UNH will be forthcoming, including geologic information such as one-of-a-kind manuscript reports, geologic field maps and notes, samples, well reports and logs, and well cuttings. A program to describe, log, photograph, and scan the holdings of various sources throughout New Hampshire is being developed.
Other samples, cores, and documents from previous geologic explorations in New Hampshire have been identified anecdotally and are scattered throughout the state and elsewhere. Upon verification, these geologic and geophysical items will need to be protected and cataloged. It is a NHGS goal to ultimately build a repository for specimens and cores as well as ensure the safe archival storage of documents. We believe more users would request the geologic information if it is readily available to the public at a central location.