World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue

Welcome to WOSSAC

WOSSAC mapchests

WOSSAC holdings are kept within the Cranfield University CSAI Archive facility which has a controlled temperature and humidity environment, making it highly suitable for the long term storage of the tens of thousands of paper, film and magnetic-based catalogue items.

The collections comprise significant shelving given to the soil reports and monographs, filed on a country by continent basis. Alongside these reports are shelved our soil books section - containing all the standard texts on soil as well as many rare and unusual books. The books are not currently catalogued; however, this process is soon to be underway as the Cranfield library adopt these references.

The soil maps section is held in a series of map cabinets and map chests, again filed by country in continent. There are a very great many maps and we are still in the process of cataloguing these.

The WOSSAC collection also incorporates some 10,000 magnetic tapes, holding spaceborne remote sensing imagery captured since the very first satellite observations for planetary observation were imaged. These tapes come from the former National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), of which Silsoe College, Cranfield was a part. These tapes sit alongside further tapes from the HTSPE collection making the overall collection extremely significant.

View of WOSSAC archive and shelving View of WOSSAC archive and shelving
View of WOSSAC satellite imagery tapes View of WOSSAC map albums

Alongside, and associated with WOSSAC, Cranfield University's National Soil Resources Institute, operate a professionally managed soil archive and store. This facility is where the soil samples associated with the production of the National Soil Map of England and Wales are held, along with many thousands of other soil samples associated with the Institute's activities.

Our archive itself is equipped with a range of the latest document capture and scanning technologies to help us capture the materials in electronic form for web-based dissemination. Thanks to the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for supporting the archive, via grant ‘NE/L012774/1’, ‘Ecosystem Services Databank and Visualisation for Terrestrial Informatics’, we are able to draw upon a BookEye book and document scanner, and a microfilm/microfiche scanner. Cranfield also has large format scanners which allow us to capture maps in digital format as well as film scanners for 35mm photographs.