The geology collection serves the needs of faculty and students in the Geology Department as well as a number of other departments across campus. These include the departments of geophysics and astronomy, geography, oceanography, soil science, metals and materials engineering, mining and mineral process engineering, and civil engineering, as well as the Geological Engineering Program, the Hydrology Program, and the Remote Sensing Council.

Overview of the strengths of the existing collection

Periodicals form a key part of the collection, many of which are government publications from many levels of government in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. The library has many standing orders in this field, and overall the periodical collection is excellent except for small regional titles. Canada, of course, is extensively covered. In terms of monographs, the library collects many geological society publications such as the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Geological Society of London, Geological Association of Canada, Geological Society of American and the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Also collected are field-trip guidebooks of Canada, conference proceedings, and course notes.

Current areas of collecting

The geology selector covers ice and snow, mathematical geology, mineralogy, petrology, structural geology, geochemistry, volcanoes, seismology, sedimentation, stratigraphy, and paleontology. Less emphasis is on hydrology, geomorphology, aerial photography, micropaleontology, paleozoology, and paleobotany. Special emphasis is on British Columbian and Canadian geology and to a lesser extent North American geology.

Research and publishing characteristics

The geosciences rely on a wide range of literature with respect to language, type, age, and geographic origin. It takes some diligence to acquire. According to GeoRef, their file includes reference to more than 40 languages with the most frequent being the following: English 74%, Russian 9%, French 4%, German 4%, Chinese 2.5%, Spanish 2%, Japanese 1.5%, and other 3:%. Periodicals are important but don’t dominate this field as they do other pure science fields. Types of publications in GeoRef are the following: journal articles 47%, meeting papers 16%, meeting abstracts 16%, book chapters 11%, reports 5%, dissertations 4%, maps 4%, special issues 4%, books 3%. Government publications, society publications, maps, field-trip guidebooks, and theses are very important but are often difficult to obtain and have poor bibliographic control. Retrospective material remains valuable.


Indexes, abstracts, data files, monographs, serials, government publications, field-trip guidebooks, conference proceedings, and more.


Predominantly English, but materials in other languages are acquired, particularly as they refer to the geology of non-English speaking parts of the world.

Geographic origin

Predominantly North American and Europe, but materials from all over the world are selectively acquired.


Latin American geology, open-file reports, and field-trip guidebooks of areas outside Canada are very selectively acquired.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Koerner Library: Maps and atlases.