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Tibor Zoltai papers

Identifier: uarc 1144

Scope and Content

The collection consists of publications and reports as well as documenting Zoltai's role with the Norco Oil Company. Publications cover the topics of polycrystalline materials, asbestos, crystal structures, mineralogy, x-ray diffraction, jamesonite fibers, and includes a copy of Search Table and Mineral Indexas well as Zoltai's Ph.D. thesis. Zoltai served as director and geologist of the Norco Oil Company which mined jade from deposits in Wyoming in the early 1970s. The materials document the activities of Norco Oil, and include meeting minutes of the board of directors, correspondence, and reports.


  • 1959-1988


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of Tibor Zoltai (d. 2003)

Tibor Zoltai, B.S. (1955) University of Toronto, Ph.D. (1959) MIT. Professor of geology (1959-1991) and chair of the School of Earth Sciences (1963-1971) at the University of Minnesota. Considered one of the foremost researchers on crystal structures and his development of x-ray techniques, specially on asbestiform minerals (asbestos) and their health risks.

Tibor Z. Zoltai was born in Gyor, Hungary. Near the end of World War II, Zoltai was one of many Hungarian youth placed in labor camps in Germany. After the war, he studied at the University of Graz (Austria) and the Sorbonne (France). He emigrated to Canada in 1950, earning his B.S. degree in applied geology from the University of Toronto in 1955. Zoltai earned his Ph.D. in mineralology at MIT. in 1959.

Dr. Zoltai joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1959 as assistant professor of geology. In 1963 he was promoted to professor and became chair of the School of Earth Sciences. He stepped down as chair in 1971, but retained his faculty status. At this time, he became director and geologist for the Norco Oil Company in Wyoming. Norco Oil was responsible for mining jade deposits across Wyoming. Zoltai retired from the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1991.

Zoltai was an expert in the field of crystal structures, especially abestiform (asbestos) fibers. He also was known for his early use of computers analysis. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Crystallographic Association, American Institute of Professional Geologists, and the Geological Society of America. Tibor Zoltai died on July 13, 2003.


1.3 Cubic Feet (2)


Collection contains publications of Tibor Zoltai, professor of geology at the University of Minnesota, as well as materials regarding Zoltai's involvement with the Norco Oil Company.

Source of acquisition

The collection was deposited in University Archives by David O'Hanley in 2008.
Tibor Zoltai Papers, 1959-1988
Karen Spilman
September 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area