A European initiative is underway to establish a central-access database providing information about all the seabed samples lying in storage across Europe. The EU-SEASED database should provide the means by which scientists, engineers, and anyone else interested in the seafloor, can find out quickly what seabed samples have been recovered from the world's ocean basins and where they are stored. Marine sediment cores and other seafloor samples are a raw data resource of immense scientific value, and many thousands of bottom samples have been collected by European research institutes, geological surveys, universities, and exploration and survey companies. This data is vital to a broad range of people from governments, industry and academia for research in such areas as global climate change, slope stability, pollution control and assessment, and hydrocarbon exploration. Bottom samples and cores are normally stored under controlled conditions for further use once they have been analysed initially. This means that there are sea floor samples stored throughout the European Union providing a legacy of continuing scientific usefulness and importance. However, there is a lack of knowledge of what cores are available and where they are stored. EU-SEASED sets out to turn this problem around. It will utilise existing national networks, and take a strongly proactive approach, using questionnaires and 'data scouts' to actively seek out data for the database. Institutions within EU member countries that hold data from bottom samples will also be invited to participate in the project. The EU-SEASED database will hold metadata concerning samples available, with conditions of access to samples and related accessory datasets for negotiation between the requestor and the repository where the sample is stored. EU-SEASED is a European joint project of two Concerted Actions, EUMARSIN (European Marine Sediment Information Network) and EUROCORE, supported by the MAST (Marine Science and Technology) programme of the European Commission, DG XII. The project brings together a consortium of sixteen European national geological surveys and seven national marine core repositories which will populate the database; and a Dutch data management company, responsible for database construction and server maintenance.