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Core Library


Core library

Wilson M. Laird
Core and Sample Library

Julie A. LeFever, Director

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
8:00 am to 5:00 pm

The North Dakota Geological Survey's Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library is located on the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The climate controlled facility consists of 2,000 square feet of office and laboratory space and 18,000 square feet of core storage. It currently houses approximately 70 miles of cores and 34,000 boxes of drill cuttings. The cores represent about 75% of the cores cut in the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin and about 95% of the samples collected. The facility also houses an extensive collection of water-well samples and cores.


Core sample picture
Policy and Procedures
In-House Use

The collection may be viewed in-house upon request.  It is requested that the user call in advance.  This is necessary because table space is limited.  It also ensures the availability of the requested cores and samples.  Use of the facility is free of charge.

The facility provides table space, black light box, petrographic and binocular microscopes, and a digital camera system.  Users are responsible for laying out the core and returning it to the pallet when finished.  Sampling is conducted by core library staff with the permission of the director and is dependent upon the condition of the core.  The library attempts to archive at least one
continuous face.  In an effort to avoid duplication and preserve the remaining core, all thin sections or special analyses made from the State's collection must be returned to the library.

Ready access to samples and well information is provided through the state oil and gas database. A set of well file and well logs on microfiche and microfilm, and petroleum scout cards, are also available for use.
Thin Section
Digital Core Photo of the Middle Bakken member from the core photo database Digital thin section image of the Middle Bakken member from the thin section database
Outside Use

Cores and samples may be shipped upon request at the expense of the user. Generally, there is no time limit for shipped cores or samples. The user is expected to return them in a timely manner or when requested by the director. We do not charge for the loan of cores, samples, or thin sections.

Cores will be shipped only to a government (state or federal) facility. The user is responsible for all shipping expenses. Cores may be shipped to a core testing facility with the permission of the director. Test results must be returned to the Core and Sample Library.

Samples will be sent to the user upon request provided the library's collection can be divided into two parts. The user is responsible for all shipping charges.

Sampling of the cores or samples for thin section or destructive purposes must be stated prior to shipment. The resulting sections or other data must be returned to the library upon completion of study. 

Thin sections are available for selected formations on selected wells. These sections may be checked out of the library. The user is responsible for all shipping expenses. It is the responsibility of the user to return material to the library in a timely manner or upon request.



North Dakota Geological Survey
Wilson M. Laird Core & Sample Library
Stop 8156 (mailing)

2835 Campus Rd. (shipping)
Stop 8156

Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-8156
E:mail:  Julie LeFever
E:mail: Corelibrary
phone: (701)777-2231
Map to Core Library


Other Information Available

A computerized listing of all or part of the collection in the core and sample library is available online as a part of the NDIC Oil and Gas Division Subscription Service.

Jim Lindholm
phone: (701)328-8020
e-mail: Jim Lindholm

Other Core Facilities

United States

U.S. Geological Survey Core Research Center


Link to Montana  

Geological Survey of Canada

Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan


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North Dakota Geological Survey
Last modified: September 26, 2007