Geologists with the Missouri Geological Survey have been recording information in field notebooks since the mid-1800s. Thanks to a cooperative effort with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program, more than 1,300 of these geologist’s field notebooks are available online as PDFs. 

MGS Field Notebook image

These notebooks are indispensable tools for geologists and serve as guides to the future as well as the past. They contain drawings, maps and observations about Missouri’s geologic and hydrologic phenomena, including critical mineral resources. While geology is the main focus, they also contain a wealth of historic information on native vegetation, natural resource use, historic cultural features, weather and daily life. Some contain carefully pressed plants, advertisements, business cards and newspaper clips that shed light on aspects of Missouri geology and everyday life at the time. Geologists continue to create field notebooks to record information about geologic and hydrologic features while exploring the geology of Missouri. 

Access list and PDFs

  • Spreadsheet - Excel file lists notebooks available at this time. 
  • Notebooks (PDFs) - Search the Geological Survey National Digital Catalog and display, download, print PDFs.

Searches in the Excel file and the National Digital Catalog may be done on notebook number, author, county and any word of interest. PDFs also may be requested from the Missouri Geological Survey's sales office by calling 573-368-2100.