The Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library in Grand Forks, ND was established in 1980 and was renovated in 2016. The core library is the brainchild of the building’s namesake, Wilson M. Laird, North Dakota State Geologist from 1941-1969. Due to Laird's foresight, the library houses one of the finest collections of rock core and drill cuttings in the country and perhaps the world. It is truly a library, but the rocks tell the story, a story as glorious as any, the history of planet Earth.

The core library has a long and storied past dating back to the early 1900s, well before oil was discovered in North Dakota. Laird understood the value that the rock core had not only economically, but also academically. In 1941, he instigated the provision in the state legislature that any core collected, as well as selected cuttings, must be submitted to the state within a designated time, usually 180 days. However, storing such core was more complex, as significant space was necessary to house the material. At that time, the North Dakota Geological Survey (NDGS) was located on the University of North Dakota (UND) campus in Grand Forks, where Laird was also the Chair of the Geology Department. This practice took place until 1989 when the NDGS/UND geology department affiliation was severed and the NDGS moved to Bismarck. However, for logistical reasons, the cores remained in Grand Forks under the jurisdiction of the NDGS. Since the first core facility was established in 1918, material has been stored in numerous buildings on the UND campus, as each facility eventually became full. The Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library was constructed in 1980, remodeled in 2008, and expanded in 2016.


Geo News Newsletter Construction and Dedication Articles

January 2017 Core Library Dedication
January 2009 Wilson M. Laird Core & Sample Library
December 1980 Wilson M. Laird Core & Sample Library Dedicated
June 1980 Wilson M. Laird Core & Sample Library