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The British Geological Survey (BGS) petrology collections contain almost 1500 Scottish rock samples (with thin sections) deposited by Archibald Geikie, including BGSS1, an analcime gabbro from Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh. High-quality thin section images are now available from the BGS’s Britrocks online database. The geospatial distribution of these samples is analysed. They reflect the development of geological mapping and igneous petrology in Scotland from the 1850s to the 1890s. Geikie had the opportunity to study Nicol’s original thin sections in 1851 and he met both Sorby and Zirkel, early pioneers of petrography. Lacking management support, he cut many of his...

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