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Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Writings on Geology and Mineralogy : Scientific Papers and Comments

Edited by A. Ranganathan and K. Srinivasa Rao, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and Manohar, 2001, xxix, 320 p, maps, figs, ISBN : 8173043736, $39.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Writings on Geology and Mineralogy : Scientific Papers and Comments/edited by A. Ranganathan and K. Srinivasa Rao

Contents: Preface/K. Srinivasa Rao. I.Ananda Coomaraswamy’s contributions to geology and mineralogy : Introduction/A. Ranganathan : A) Note on the occurrence of corundum as a contact-mineral of Pont Paul near Morlain (Finistere), Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, London, 57 (1901) 185-188. B) Silification of crystalline limestone, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, London, 58 (1902) 16-19. C) The Balangoda group, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, London, 58 (1902) 418-422. D) Intrusive Pyroxenites, Mica-Pyroxenites and Mica-Rocks & Charnockite series or Granulites in Ceylon, Geological magazine, London (1905) 363-369. 2. Note on the scenery of Ceylon, British association for the advancement of science, transactions of section C, report (1902), London, 613-614. 3. Origin of the crystalline limestones of Ceylon, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, London (1902) 375-378. 4. The crystalline limestones of Ceylon, Geological magazine, London, 58 (1902) 399-424. 5. The crystalline limestones of Ceylon, reports and proceedings – Geological Society of London (1902) 190-192. 6. The Point-De-Galle (Ceylon) : Wollastonite-Scapolite Gneisses, Geological magazine, London, 58 (1902) 680-689. 7. Report on the occurrence of Cassiterite (oxide of Tin), Government printing office, Colombo (1905). 8. Serendibite, a new borosilicate of Ceylon, G.T. Prior and A.K. Coomaraswamy, Mineralogical magazine, London, (1903) 224-227. 9. The crystalline rocks of Ceylon, Spolia Zeylancia, Colombo, (1904) 105-111. 10. Mineralogical notes, Spolia Zeylancia, Colombo, (1904) 57-64. 11. On Ceylon rocks and Graphite, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, London, 56 (1900) 590-615. 12. Mineral resources, Official handbook of the Ceylon court, Colombo (1904). 13. Recent marine clays at Kuchaveli, Ceylon, Spolia Zeylancia, Colombo (1904) 199-200. 14. Report on Thorianite and Thorite, Government printing office, Colombo (1904) 1-4. 15. Occurrence of Radiolaria in Gondwana beds near Madras, Geological magazine, London, 457 (1902) 305. 16. Observations on the Tiree marble, with notes on others from Iona, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, London, 59 (1903) 91-104. II. Mineralogical survey, Ceylon: administration reports : 17. 1903, report published in 1904, L1-L12. 18. 1904, report published in 1905, E1-E21. 19. 1905, report published in 1906 E1-E18. 20. 1906, report published in 1907, E1-E11. III. Comments : 21. Letter to the editor, the occurrence of Thorium in Ceylon, W.R. Dunstan, Nature, London, 69 March 31, 1904, 510-511. 22. Letter to the editor, a new mineral from Ceylon, Sir William Ramsay, Nature, London, 69 April 7, 1904, 533-534. 23. Letter to the editor, a new mineral from Ceylon, Sir William Ramsay, Nature, London, 69 April 14, 1904, 559. 24. Letter to the editor, a new mineral from Ceylon, T.A. Henry, Nature, London, 69, April 14, 1904, 559-560. 25. Thorianite, a new mineral from Ceylon, Wyndham R. Dunstan and G.S. Blake, proceedings of the royal society, London, May 1, 1905, 253-265. 26. A variety of Thorianite from Galle, Ceylon, Wyndham R. Dunstan and B. Mouat Jones, proceedings of the royal society, London, April 11, 1906, 546-549. 27. Serendibite Ca2 (Mg, Al)6O2 [(Si, Al, B)6O18], W.A. Deer, R. A. Howie and J. Zussman, Longman group, London, 1978, 659-661. 28. Anandite, a new barium Iron Silicate from Wilagedera, north western province, Ceylon, D.B. Pattiaratchi, Eko Saari and Th.G. Sahama, Mineralogical magazine, London, 36, March 1967, 1-4.

"Thirteenth in the series of collected works of Dr. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy in the IGNCA’s publication programme, this volume deals with his contribution to the geology and mineralogy of Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

The material in the volume has been arranged in three sections: the first contains his articles on geology and mineralogy of Ceylon published in scientific journals; the second includes the classic Ceylon administrative reports which he wrote in 1903-6; and the final section is mainly concerned with several comments on Coomaraswamy’s work which highlight his reputation as a mainstream geologist.

Coomaraswamy was appointed as the first director of the Mineralogical survey of Ceylon in 1903. During the next four years, he undertook extensive field work studying the contour, nature of the soil and the mineral wealth of the island. The four administrative reports that he issued during 1903-6 are considered to be classic on account of the varied wealth of information contained in them covering a wide range of geological, mineralogical and petrological subjects.

His greatest contribution to geology was his discovery of the mineral Thorianite in 1904. It was characteristic of Coomaraswamy’ self-effacement and scientific modesty that instead of immortalising his own name, he preferred to name it Thorianite.

 In 1906, the university of London conferred on him the much coveted degree of D.Sc.; on his thesis composed of official reports on Ceylonese mineralogy and other scientific papers. Other honours followed: he was elected a fellow of the Geological and Linnean societies of London.

It is hoped that this volume on Coomaraswamy’s contribution to the earth sciences, quite different from his undoubted greatness as an exponent of the perennial philosophy, will be of great interest to his innumberable admirers." (jacket)

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