Last Updated: 1/7/2009

Wendell Wilson

University prior to coming to ASU: University of Minnesota
Status at ASU: M.S. Geology, 1971

My family and myself

Wendell E. Wilson
BS (1969) University of Minnesota at Duluth, double major in Geology and Fine Art.
MSc (1972) Arizona State University, in meteorite mineralogy.
PhD (1976) University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in isotope geochemistry.

Wendell was hired as editor for the Mineralogical Record magazine in 1976. His efforts to revamp the struggling journal were successful, nearly doubling the circulation in his first year. In 1977 he produced the first of many oversize book-style issues, this one devoted to the history and mineralogy of the Tsumeb mine in Namibia. It was well-received, and in 1982 a new Tsumeb mineral species was officially named minrecordite (the only species ever to be named after a magazine), in recognition of the journal's achievements as "a worthy magazine in promoting both a better knowledge of Tsumeb minerals and a more beneficial interaction between amateur and professional mineralogists." In 1983 Wendell took over the duties of Publisher and CEO as well, positions he still holds today.

Wendell is author or co-author of over 80 major articles and 13 books in mineralogy (most important work: The History of Mineral Collecting 1530-1799), as well as 18 articles and books on mining history (including A Collector's Guide to Antique Miners' Candlesticks, the definitive work on a complex subject). and a book on the history of mineralogical literature, among other important works. He is considered to be among the world's leading mineral photographers, with over 6,500 published photos. The Carnegie's Marc Wilson says he helped "set the standard for modern publishing-quality mineral photography." Likewise the book Grandmasters of Mineral Photography (2004) lists him as the earliest of all those included (and the mentor of several). He has served as photo editor for Encyclopedia of Minerals (1987) and Mineralogy of Arizona (1995), and contributed over 3,400 photos to the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History's Photo-Atlas of Minerals (2000). As a well-known mining-and-mineral artist Wendell has over 1,000 published artworks in a variety of mediums.

Wendell, who is also an authority on antiquarian mineralogical literature, founded the Antiquarian Reprint Series as a method of preserving and distributing very rare, early illustrated mineral books. He is also the founder of the Mineralogical Record Library, one of the most important collections of early mineralogical literature in the country. And he is the founder (in 2005) of the online mineralogical journal Axis ("An Eclectic Journal of Mineralogy"), the online Mineralogical Record Museum of Art and the online Mineralogical Record Label Archive, a databank of hundreds of biographies of mineral collectors, dealers, mineralogists and mineral museums.

The new species wendwilsonite was described in 1987, and named after Wendell "in recognition of his contributions to mineralogy." He is the 2001 recipient of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award, is a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America (1989) and the Geological Society of America (1995). Wendell and his wife of 33 years, Carolyn, live in Tucson, where their son Eric is a junior in the honors program of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

7 * M Research Group at Arizona State University