Featuring strong ties to Tellus Science Museum, the latest edition of “Minerals of Georgia” will be launched at the Cartersville venue Thursday. Starting at 7 p.m., the book release will feature lectures by coauthors Dr. Robert B. Cook, professor emeritus of the Department of Geology at Auburn University, and Julian Gray, former curator at Tellus, and editor Jose Santamaria, Tellus’ executive director.
“I was involved from the beginning when Bob Cook approached me in 1998 with the idea of updating the original — his 1978 ‘Minerals of Georgia,’” Santamaria said. “He felt that I was in a good position as director of the Weinman Mineral Museum at that time. We were focused on collecting specimens and data on Georgia minerals and were keeping up with current mineral discoveries. I assembled a list of collectors we could approach and submitted much information myself. When Julian Gray came on board in 2002, first as a volunteer then as curator of the Weinman and then Tellus, he digitized the manuscript and added much valuable information. In 2003, I got world famous mineral photographer Jeff Scovil involved photographing our collection.“As the Tellus project picked up steam, the book project was slowed but not forgotten. After Tellus opened [in] 2009, we rekindled the project and discussed what the end result would be. Bob initially envisioned an insert into the original, but I saw this as a completely new book with color photographs. We contacted the UGA Press and they were very interested. The project continued to take time but picked up steam in 2014, and we finally submitted the manuscript and photographs before the end of the year. The editing process took time, but I think the results speak for themselves.”On Tellus’ website, “Minerals of Georgia” is described “as the most important book on Georgia mineralogy in more than 35 years,” which Gray concurs.“The book includes information [on] the occurrence of more than 200 minerals in the state in many hundreds of locations,” said Gray, who now serves as the executive director of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon. “There are several major changes in the new edition. First, it contains color photographs of minerals discussed in the book. It depicts almost 200 of the best Georgia minerals photographed by some of the best photographers, including noted photographer Jeff Scovil. Also, we added a chapter, including an overview of Georgia’s geologic history, which is the first clue to where to look for minerals and why they occur where they do.“... The 1978 version of ‘Minerals of Georgia’ is universally recognized as the best reference on Georgia mineralogy. It is one of the best such [books] for any state in the country. And the revised edition is, of course, an improvement on that. This book will be used by collectors, museum curators and scientists for many decades.”Along with the lectures, the “Minerals of Georgia” launch also will feature a book signing. Published by the University of Georgia Press, the 344-page book is available for purchase on Tellus’ website and in the museum’s store starting Thursday.The upcoming book release event will be included in regular admission to Tellus for non-members and free for museum members. For more information about the museum — which is located at 100 Tellus Drive — and its offerings, call 770-606-5700 or visit http://tellusmuseum.org.