Minerals & Mining Collections
Reports, articles, maps and data relating to minerals and mining occur in many print and digital collections at ARLIS. No individual index or catalog provides a single point of access/information discovery. Similarly, information on minerals and mining is shelved in many locations in the book stacks and map cabinets at ARLIS, not in a single section of the library.
For published books and articles, including reports of the US Geological Survey and Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the ARLIS Catalog is a good place to start. Search by author, title, or keyword, including name of place or river or stream.
More specialized search tools and collections, are linked and described below.
- Alaska Data Resource Files — Current index to descriptions of mines, prospects, and mineral occurrences, published by the US Geological Survey. Arranged by USGS Quadrangle.
- Alaska Geographic Data Index — Index to the Anaconda Collection at ARLIS and other mineral related collections in Alaska.
- DGGS Publications Search, interagency bibliographical search tool, successor to the MDIRA database formerly accessible at akgeology.info. In addition to State of Alaska publications, the DGGS site offers full text access to many BLM, Bureau of Mines, US Forest Service, USGS, and other federal publications.
- Maps – High resolution maps of Alaska, arranged by location or subject. Scanned by John Rishel Mineral Information Center.
- Online Spatial Data / Alaska – USGS interactive map showing multiple geospatial scientific data sets.
- Bureau of Mines Publications – Alaska related files, arranged by quadrangle. Scanned by John Rishel Mineral Information Center. Also included in DGGS Publications Search.
- Forest Service Publications – Alaska related files. Scanned by John Rishel Mineral Information Center. Also included in DGGS Publications Search.
- USGS Publications Warehouse – Many Alaska-related titles also included in DGGS Publications Search.
Many resources listed on this page were developed through the Minerals Data and Information Rescue Program in Alaska (MDIRA) and through the work of the former John Rishel Mineral Information Center near Juneau.
Anaconda Minerals Exploration Collection
Location: “garage door” shelves in the back of the library
The Anaconda Minerals Collection comprises approximately 10,500 indexed records of Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) mineral exploration data. This premier collection includes more than ten years of minerals exploration data collected between 1974 and 1984 throughout Alaska by the Anaconda Minerals Company, as well as information collected by various other mining companies. It would cost tens of millions of dollars to re-do this exploration effort, a testament to the value of this collection.
The data set includes geological, geochemical, and geophysical reports, surveys, field notes, maps, and figures. Anaconda Collection maps and files from outside of the CIRI region. ARLIS houses the files, while the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys’ Geologic Materials Center in Eagle River—moving soon to Anchorage—houses the over-sized maps and illustrations.
A GIS-enabled index is available that contains links to the digital files.
ARLIS reference librarians will assist with this collection.Anaconda Minerals Index
(also called Mineral Assessment Studies or Mineral Availability System; later known as AMIS, Alaska Minerals Information System)
Location: in boxes in Special Collections
The Minerals Availability System (MAS) was a U.S. Bureau of Mines program of on-site mine inspections begun in the early 1960s to measure and classify identified mineral resources according to their extraction technologies, economics. and commercial availability.
The files contain information on occurrences, deposits, mines. and processing facilities. When the U.S. Bureau of Mines was closed in 1996, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was given responsibility for the Alaska MAS files located in Juneau and Anchorage. Those files in BLM are known as AMIS, Alaska Minerals Information System. The paper version of the Alaska MAS files was housed at the John Rishel Mineral Information Center in Juneau until July 2008 when the Center closed and all files were transferred to ARLIS.
The MAS files are arranged numerically by quadrangle number and indexed by quadrangle and property. The indexes, by quadrangle and property, are located next to the files. The quadrangle index is available at the ARLIS reference desk and in MAS Cases 1-4 in the Map Atrium, along with associated MAS maps and overlays.
Most of the information in the MAS files from Juneau is now available online at the links below. The paper files from Juneau and from Anchorage are available for use at ARLIS. Both the digital files and the paper files are arranged by quadrangle or mining district.MAS System Availability Reports
Mine File Fiche
Location: ARLIS reference desk
In 1982 the state and federal governments combined their mining claims records. The Mine File Fiche is an index providing information on the claim owner, company, location, type (load or placer), mineral type, years a claim was active, and whether a claim had been proved up on.
For information after 1986, contact the Bureau of Land Management regarding claims on federal land, or Alaska Department of Natural Resources regarding claims on state land.
Mine File overlays showing claim locations and other information are available in Case 2 in the Map Atrium and are used with the topographic maps in Case 4.
Location: Special Collections, call number Spec QE 76 .I64 v. 1 – v.6.
Arrangement: By Quadrangle or Place
Quadrangle and place index to USGS, BLM and AK geological and mining publications for Alaska through 1972.
Edward H. Cobb compiled and annotated the Index of Metallic Mineral Deposits of Alaska from Published Reports of Federal and State Agencies through 1972. Arranged by quadrangle, this index is invaluable for locating published geological literature of Alaska by location, such as name of creek.
The index is well known to librarians and library users as “Cobb’s Index.” In the ARLIS Library Catalog, the index is the first result returned by a keyword search on Cobb metallic mineral state federal.Cobb's Index Online
John Rishel Mineral Information Center Kardex
ARLIS is the New Hosting Agency for Digital and Print Collections from the John Rishel Mineral Information Center
In 2007, the John Rishel Mineral Information Center (JRMIC) closed. JRMIC was located on Mayflower Island in Douglas, Alaska. The Bureau of Land Management transferred many of the printed and electronic collections housed at the JRMIC to ARLIS.
Kardex Quadrangle Overlays
Arrangement: By Quadrangle Name
Scanned copies of Alaska Kardex location maps, made by the John Rishel Mineral Information Center. The original transparent overlays were used with U.S. Geological Survey 1:250,000 scale maps. The overlay scans include a topographic base. They were scanned at 250 dpi and saved in jpg file format. The Kardex information on the overlays reflects information at a particular time and is therefore dated. Not all Kardex information is necessarily presented on an overlay.These scans are to be used in conjunction with Kardex file scans published by the BLM, publication BLM/AK/AE-03/003. This page links to records in jpg graphics format. The images in this collection are arranged in folders alphabetically by quadrangle name.
This product is a result of the Minerals Data at Risk activity funded by the BLM. This dataset represents digital images of the Alaska Kardex files, a system developed by the State of Alaska and maintained as a paper-based system of tracking minerals information, especially mining claim activity, in Alaska. Records were established based on mineral locations and occurrences from published literature as well as from mining claim records from the recording districts. The records were developed from recorded documents, claim-location notices, affidavits of annual labor, and deeds received from the 34 recording districts in the state. The records have been used extensively by the mining industry, legal firms, native corporations, professional geologists, and state and federal agencies since 1953.
Records were arranged serially within a geographic framework established by the 153 U.S. Geological Survey 1:250,000-scale quadrangles within Alaska. The quadrangles were numbered from North to South, in a sequence that was also used in later years by the U.S. Bureau of Mines to index quadrangles. Paper cross-references sorted by owner/operator, and claim name were created and kept in Fairbanks at Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offices over the years. The U.S. Bureau of Mines created and for several years maintained transparent quadrangle overlays representing the Kardex locations.
Although much of the information included in Kardex is now out of date, it can be useful for research into past activity in an area of interest. The original Kardex files are housed at the DNR Public Information Center in Fairbanks, and are available for use by the public during business hours.Alaska Kardex Mine File Overlay Maps
Alaska Kardex File Images
Arrangement: Alphabetical by Quadrangle Name. The Kardex number consists of the quadrangle location number, followed by a serial number. Additionally, individual portions of each Kardex record are numbered sequentially.
This product is a result of the Minerals Data at Risk activity funded by the BLM.
This dataset represents digital images of the Alaska Kardex files, a system developed by the State of Alaska and maintained as a paper-based system of tracking minerals information, especially mining claim activity, in Alaska. Records were established based on mineral locations and occurrences from published literature as well as from mining claim records from the recording districts. The records were developed from recorded documents, claim-location notices, affidavits of annual labor, and deeds received from the 34 recording districts in the state. Since 1953, the records have been used extensively by the mining industry, legal firms, native corporations, professional geologists, and state and federal agencies.
Records were arranged serially within a geographic framework established by the 153 U.S. Geological Survey 1:250,000-scale quadrangles within Alaska. The quadrangles were numbered from North to South, in a sequence that was also used in later years by the U.S. Bureau of Mines to index quadrangles.
Paper cross-references sorted by owner/operator, and claim name were created and kept in Fairbanks at Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offices over the years. The U.S. Bureau of Mines created and for several years maintained transparent quadrangle overlays representing the Kardex locations.
Although much of the information included in Kardex is now out of date, it can be useful for research into past activity in an area of interest.
Published by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in 2002.Alaska Kardex Mine File Card Images
Minerals Data at Risk
The goal of the Minerals Data and Information Rescue in Alaska (MDIRA) or Minerals Data at Risk project is to recover and make easily available the full body of Alaska mineral information through a coordinated system that provides efficient access or guides to all mineral related files, documents, and physical samples held in the public domain. This body of information includes geologic framework data now out of print as well as data collections from agency and private sector geologists that was never published, geophysical data, state and federal mining claim information, geochemical data sets, and M.SC and Ph.D. dissertations on Alaska geology that exist in university libraries across the nation.
The MDIRA project was implemented in response to recognition of the importance of the Alaska subcontinent’s mineral resources to the nation, and a concern that decades of important Alaskan minerals information would be lost. Much information has become less and less available to the public, industry, and government agencies that generated it. Out-of-print government publications are lost through the attrition of unreturned loans or theft. Voluminous files of analytical data that are hard to use or hard to access are ignored in spite of their relevance and value because professionals do not have the time to recover them and convert them to digital format. Recent downsizing of both federal and state geologic agencies has left large volumes of data stranded and in danger of disposal as institutional memory of the data’s significance is lost through continued personnel attrition.
Through special appropriations, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), State of Alaska, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have rescued and made much information available.
Access to information in libraries has been improved by cataloging, increasing collections, and publishing a new Guide to Minerals Information (11.3MB pdf).
Physical sample storage has been improved by increasing the capacity of the Alaska Geologic Materials Center in Eagle River.
Current focus is on a web-accessible interagency bibliographic database.
Databases have been improved by standardizing and making available many geologic datasets. A portal containing links to this information, as well as other geology, minerals and land information, is available at AKGeology.info.
Annual progress reports of the MDIRA project are provided below: