Glossary search

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The Mindat glossary is accessible on Mindat's home page in the Search Mindat section in the upper right of the home page. The first field in the Search Mindat section is a field called Search For. At the end of that field is a little down arrow than when clicked on will give you a menu of various items you can search for. Click on the Glossary menu item. When you click on the Glossary menu item, a Keyword(s) box will appear and you type in the word or phrase you are looking for and then click on the Search button. The program will crank through the glossary and give you a match if it can find one. For example if you type in References into the Keyword(s) field the search program will eventually give you: references, authorities, sources and geographical abbreviations, used in the glossary. This is the name of that glossary name and it is a link to the actual entry. When you click on it, you will be taken to the glossary page that contains most if not all of the references to all the definitions present in our glossary.

Glossary References.

Additional example. Example: If you type in Coal into the Keyword(s) field you will be presented with no less than 50 entries that contain coal in their titles. You can choose the one you want. If you click on the second entry; coal plow, you will be taken to the page that contains the definition for the coal plow, and at the end of the entry will be the reference, in this case it is; Mason. If you go to the Reference page whose link is above and run down the alphabetical list of references to Mason, you will be told that Mason = Mason, E. (ed.). Practical Coal Mining for Miners. Virtue & Co., Ltd., London, 2d ed., 1951, 2 volumes. Glossary of terms, v. 2, pp. 769-775.

If your search of the glossary gets no matches, you may wish to make sure what you are searching for is correctly spelled or try a different or related key word. If you still cant find it, bring it up on Mistakes and Errors forum on Mindat's Message Board and we will consider adding it to the glossary, especially if you can supply us with a good definition of the work or term and a printed or internet reference.


Our basic glossary started out as a copy of the Dictionary of Mining Mineral and Related Terms that was published by the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Mines 1996 edition. It contains about 28500 terms and was the one that Branko Rieck could access on line as a PDF file which he then through the use of OCR software converted to a plain text file and then wrote a parsing program that clean up a lot of the mess that the OCR software made. He then went through that and with a huge amount of labor cleaned it up further. He then shot the data over to Jolyon who put it into a searchable and editible format for us to use here on Mindat. It might be argued that the 1968 edition of the Bureau of Mines dictionary might have been better to use since it contained about 55,000 entries, but that was not available anywhere we could find in a digital format. At any rate the 28,000 entries in our current glossary should be a good place for us to start with.