Accessing the BGS library catalogue using GEOLIB

The BGS Library catalogue, GEOLIB, is available on the Internet for both BGS staff and external users. The database contains records for all serials held by the BGS, plus BGS publications, maps and monographs catalogued since 1982 (with retrospective cataloguing to cover 1970 – 1982 in progress, plus maps being entered by continent). BGS staff should log in using the barcode number on their library card. GEOLIB can also be accessed via the BGS website or the BGS Intranet for BGS staff.

Various search types are available on the left side of the screen:


This search can be used to find items for which you know the title and/or the author or to browse works by a particular author. Where variant spellings exist e.g. colour/color both versions should be retrieved. Enter the title (the first few words should be sufficient) and/or the author’s surname, with initials if known. If you want titles with a phrase within, rather than at the beginning of, the title, precede the term with a % (the % can also be used to precede the title of a thematic issue of a serial in order to find it by title rather than volume).


Enter the keyword(s) in the search box and choose any or all of the search options offered. This can be ‘exact phrase’ which searches for the terms exactly as entered, ‘all of the keywords’ (and) which searches for all the words within the entry or ‘any of the keywords’ (or) which searches for any of the words in the catalogue record. The items retrieved should be ranked in order of relevance.


This search can be used for a person or corporate name. If you do not restrict the search using initials (e.g AB), or you truncate a corporate name, a list of names will be displayed. You can select the one you want by clicking on the name (which splits into titles by and titles about) or you can select the number of titles.


Any subject term or phrase can be entered to retrieve items containing this subject heading. It is also possible to tick a box which instead retrieves the list of subject headings with the number of items under that heading being shown. Each heading can be clicked on and the 'show titles' facility used to list the items under that heading.


This search should be used to retrieve details for a particular journal title as it has been pre-filtered to only retrieve serial header entries (not individual articles or issues).


If you know the classmark of the subject/item you are interested in then you can enter it here to search for items under that classmark (even though this may not be their actual location e.g. for serial issues, reports, staff papers etc). BGS reports can be searched for by report number using this method using the exact or truncated number e.g. WA/01 or WA/01/002.

Advanced search

This search gives you the option to search up to four different fields set up as defaults or to select, using the drop down lists, up to four fields to search. This search is ideal if you know, for example, an author's surname and keyword(s) from the title. This is also the only search option where you can search for an item by ISBN or by a series title.

User details can be found under ‘My account’:

BGS staff login

This is where BGS staff can log in using your allocated barcode number to view your own details including your items on loan with return dates, reservations and requests. BGS staff must use this facility to view restricted items.

Order suggestions

This option can only be viewed and used by BGS staff. It can be used to suggest items for purchase either by the Library or by a project (please enter the project details and cost code in the notes field).


This option only appears if you are logged in. You should use it if you have been looking at your user details on a public PC to prevent your details and restricted items being viewed by other users.


Help is available via a help button. The ‘Help’ text appears in a new window so when you wish to get back to where you were you just need to close this window.

Search hints

Searches can be narrowed by selecting media type e.g. Books or Cartographic etc. It is also possible to filter the search by date of publication and/or physical location of items.
More filters can be found by clicking the 'filter button' on medium within each medium (e.g. book, report, archive book or maps, cartographic texts etc), by language and there is a sort facility available.

Any underlined term in the retrieved list can be clicked on for further details e.g. title for full bibliographic and location details or author for a list of all works by that author. Any underlined items in the full record can be clicked on e.g. series to get a list of other works in the same series, or subjects to find other items on the listed subject.

If you want to produce a list of retrieved references there is a box to be ticked by the reference number in the list of retrieved items, using this you can select items which are then shown by clicking on the ‘Show selected list’ button at the top of the list – this can then be printed out as a list of bibliographic records. Unfortunately this can only be done one page at a time from the list of retrievals.

It is also possible for BGS staff who have logged in using their barcode numbers to place reservations on items by clicking the icon next to the title in the retrieved list (if there is no icon it is because it is not possible to reserve the item e.g. articles from serials or chapters in books).

Please note that items are only loanable to BGS staff. Items in the BGS Library are available for reference-only to members of the public (contact 0115 936 3205 for further details). Until all the old manual issue slips have been converted some items may be listed as available when they are actually on loan – please check with the Library desk as to whether they are on loan if not present on the shelf.

Any queries concerning the WebView catalogue should be addressed to BGS Library on 0115 936 3205 (email: BGS Library).