"A good library is like a fine banquet - both are full and complex - while the lesser collections may nourish your intellectual needs on a narrow subject, they cannot match the gratification provided by a profoundly contextual experience." John Sinkankas, 1994

The Working Library
A Gemological Reference Collection

My work is dedicated to the memory of my father - Professional Engineer (PE), sailor, teacher (of marine navigation), outdoorsman and adventurer - a man with a keen scientific mind, intrigued by many paths and ever an inspiration to me. Proud of our Norwegian heritage and keen sailors, we shared a life-long interest in the Vikings and passion for Viking navigation - part of the story is here.

Among many other things, as a life-long avid board member of his local library, he always encouraged me not to waste time on memorizing; just know how and where to find information and to go forth and create with it.
Bob Skalwold, 1980.

Bob Skalwold
Photo: E. Skalwold
Several years ago a very exciting turn of events in my gemological odyssey manifested itself as the expansion of my humble personal library with the addition of John Koivula's entire gemological reference library; a collection which spans a long, ongoing career of research, scholarship and of course, photomicrography of inclusions.
Kristi and John Koivula, 2007.

The Koivulas, 2007
Mirroring the journey I made to study at the GIA in Carlsbad, California - a point furthest from my home yet still in this country - over 1600 lbs of books and bench instruments made their way to my office via the reverse route.

Amidst an already rich academic setting, these form a locally unique "gemological island" of inspiration, reference and creativity from which to pursue research and with which to offer gemological education at the university level.
While a certain amount of karma accompanies such tomes and instruments used by such a preeminent and revered gemologist and inclusionist as John, this library is at its heart a "Working Library," meant to continue in its purpose and someday be passed on to another generation of gemological researchers. I am very honored to be its current custodian. My heartfelt thanks goes to the Koivulas for their faith in my abilities, for collaboration and support on several fantastic projects, and above all for the friendship they have extended to me.
Elise Skalwold, The Gemological Working Library.

At work in a corner of The Library, Spring 2009.

A New Home for The Library

The Gemological Working Library.

Consulting Gemological Curator
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department, Cornell University Staff Page.
The Timothy N. Heasley Mineralogy Museum (main page and updates).

The Gemological Working Library.

New office and lab, 2012
The Gemological Working Library.

A room with a view.
The Gemological Working Library.

A perfect place to work.
The Gemological Working Library.

Dr. William A. Bassett, Gemologist John I. Koivula and Kristi Koivula, 2013

John I. Koivula is the Analytical Microscopist at the Gemological Institute of America and is a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society. A mineralogist, chemist and gemologist for more than 40 years, John is a world-renowned inclusionist and photomicrographer. In addition to hundreds of articles and papers, he authored The MicroWorld of Diamonds and is co-author of the three-volume Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones. For more information on his publications, see more here.