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The National Seismological Archive (NSA)

The National Seismological Archive (NSA) is the United Kingdom national repository for seismological material. It was created principally to preserve data from seismological observatories in the UK that have now closed. In many cases in the past records have been lost or destroyed when there is no longer anyone to look after them; the NSA provides a permanent home for these historical scientific documents, to preserve them for posterity.

Consulting room of the NSA in Edinburgh

The principal collection consists of the seismograms stores from defunct observatories; also bulletins and reports from all over the world dating from the 1890s onwards, held in a variety of media, including earthquake-related newspaper cuttings, glass slides, microfilm, and comprehensive UK earthquake research material collected over a 30 year period.

The archive has a public access room available for researchers and welcomes visiting scientists who wish to study material held in it. If it is impractical to visit, we may be able to supply data from it, subject to staff availability.

One of the major projects of the archive has been the presentation of current knowledge of UK historical earthquake seismology material in a short series of reports, easily accessible to researchers. These are available for download as Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format files (.pdf) from the NSA download page, which lists each report with a brief description. Most recent revisions to these reports are documented in an update file.

The instrument vault of the seismological observatory in Jersey

To find out more about the range of material stored in the range of the NSA collections, click here

There are published reports available for download, which you can access by clicking here.

The NSA is maintained by the Seismology and Geomagnetism Programme within the British Geological Survey (BGS) in Edinburgh. It is supported by a Customer Group led by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODP), and also by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).