2024 Presenter Dr. Christopher Stefano

An antique-style drawing used to illustrate an author writing about a mineral specimen placed on the table with the author. Caption within the illustration states "A Brief History of Mineral Publications", which is also the title of the lecture this drawing is associated with.     Example photo of the cover of The Mineralogical Record magazine: Michigan Copper!, January-February 2023, Volume 53, No 1.

A Brief History of Mineralogical Publications with a Focus on The Mineralogical Record
Christopher Stefano, PhD

The history of mineral collecting is documented in a long series of publications which reflected both the state of knowledge and collecting fashion at the time of publication. Although humanity has mined and used Earth materials since long before settled civilization existed, much less the written word, mineral collecting is a much newer pastime, having only begun in Renaissance times. Through Renaissance era publications to the cheaply printed mineral magazines of the late 19th century to the slick, high-quality printing of The Mineralogical Record today, this presentation tracks the history of collecting itself. In this lecture, Chris Stefano will briefly summarize the early history of mineralogical publications that led to the eventual publication of The Mineralogical Record, followed by a summary of the history of The Mineralogical Record itself in context. The lecture will conclude with a short discussion of what the future may hold.

Headshot photograph of Dr. Christopher Stefano, PhD

Dr. Chris Stefano has had a lifelong passion for the geosciences. He completed his bachelor’s degree in geology at Kent State University in 2004 and was then admitted to the Ph.D. program at the University of Michigan where he studied the role of water in basaltic eruptions in the Yellowstone Hotspot in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming. By the time he graduated in 2010, Chris had amassed a large mineral collection and was an active mineral dealer. He was hired in 2011 to carry out an inventory and assessment of the University of Michigan’s mineral collection, including a discussion of the history of the collection, which was published in Rocks and Minerals magazine in 2013. Chris became the Associate Curator of Michigan Tech’s A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum later in 2013. During that time, he completed several publications on various topics in specimen mineralogy and petrology, as well as oversaw several large acquisitions to the collections; including the Michigan Mineral Alliance, under which the University of Michigan collection has been added to the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum’s holdings.

In 2019, he joined the staff of The Mineralogical Record as an editor and has published many articles dealing with the American Midwest and other topics. Many more are on the way. His interests are very broad, spanning geochemistry, petrology, mineralogy and the history of science. He is particularly interested in the minerals of the American Midwest and Arkansas’ Magnet Cove district, and has significant field experience in these areas. Chris’s other hobbies include cooking and board games.

Alternative photo of Dr. Christopher Stefano, PhD for his biography page. Dr. Stefano is standing outdoors next to geological formations.