Mineralogy links

Course textbook and primary resources

Perkins online mineralogy open-source textbook

Optional useful general mineralogy resources

Online mineralogy databases

‘Khan academy’ for mineralogy

check out this YouTube channel

Petrography | optical microscopy

Raith et al. open-access Guide to Thin Section Microscopy
Interactive book chapter to learn thin section petrography (by Elizabeth Johnson and Juhong Christie Liu)

Overview video presentations for optical mineralogy

Guides and notes for identifying minerals once you collect data 

Photo atlases of minerals in thin section:

Video atlas of minerals in thin section: 


How thin sections are made: Hirsch, Spectrum Petrographic

Maintenance and care of petrographic microscopes: how to clean optics

Hand sample identification

Organizations with useful mineralogical resources

YouTube channel for discussions with mineralogists

Crystallography and symmetry

Software for visualizing crystal structures

  • CrystalMaker is the professional program (unfortunately paid) I use for research and teaching with crystal structures. They used to have a free CrystalViewer, but I think it’s discontinued. This is also the program the authors used to generate the structures and illustrations from our textbook.
  • Vesta open-source program that opens .amc files from the Mineralogical Society of America Crystal Structure Database or .cif files. Works on any operating system platform.
  • XtalDraw and CrystalSleuth are older but still good programs for displaying crystal structures and analyzing Raman data, for Windows systems.

Recommended books:

  • Rocks and Minerals in Thin Section (Second edition) by W.S. MacKenzie, A.E. Adams & K.H.Brodie (2017). A concise, illustrated introduction to observation, description and identification of geological samples in thin section. Aimed at undergraduate level.
  • etc. will add

YouTube channel for discussions with mineral collectors

Mineral resources

  • U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Resources program has a range of amazing data on minerals that are used in society for a whole range of purposes
  • How rocks power your iphone story of how minerals are used to obtain critical elements needed fo all types of devices including phones.
  • The story of silver in the United States interesting and helpful article about gold’s sibling – silver, and the fascinating history of silver mining in the US (thank you Penny and Matthew Wood for finding this!)
  • hoping to add more in this category soon…a very interesting and important topic.

Mineral stories

many others in the future!