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May-June 2009

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The Beginning of Mineralogy in Eastern North America and Minerals from New York State in the Collection of the École des Mines

Paris, France

The mineral collection of the École des Mines de Paris (School of Mines of Paris), much of it now on display in its museum, contains nearly 100,000 samples of rocks and minerals from all around the world. American minerals are well represented with 7,786 specimens (about 10 percent of the collection), a clear indication that scientists of old Europe were fascinated by the discovery of the New World. All the important mineral regions of North and South America are well represented, particularly those countries or districts (e.g., Chile, Bolivia, and California) that experienced a mining boom.
Lydie Touret is curator of mineralogy at the Paris École des Mines (School of Mines) and is chairperson for the Commission on Museums of the International Mineralogical Association.

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