This volume is the tenth in the ambitious Encyclopedia of Earth Science series. In addition to the standard short encyclopedia-style articles, it contains an alphabetical list of 3000 mineral species, groups, varieties, and mineraloids (which, following Fleischer, is called a glossary); this glossary presents basic physical and chemical properties for each entry.
Editor Keith Frye has made a major effort, detailed in the preface, to assist the reader/user in avoiding many of the pitfalls in mineral nomenclature. For example, the book presents the names of valid mineral species in lower-case italic type, the names of series or groups in boldface italic letters, while varieties (and synonyms) are set in roman typeface. The worthwhile preface also contains a list, with addresses and date of first publication, of the world's 178 most important journals where mineral data are published. Also included are lists of the important mineral reference books and textbooks on mineralogy. The articles include one on museums with a 32-page table of museums with addresses, size of collection, and specialties.