Victor Mordechai Goldschmidt

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Victor Mordechai Goldschmidt (February 10, 1853, in Mainz – May 8, 1933, in Salzburg) was a German mineralogist, natural philosopher, and art collector.

His grave in Heidelberg


Born 1853 in Mainz, Goldschmidt attended the Bergakademie Freiberg in Saxony and graduated in engineering in 1874. He received his doctorate in 1880 in Heidelberg for his work on mechanical rock analysis and continued his studies in Vienna from 1882 to 1887. In 1888 he wrote his habilitation about "Projektion und graphische Krystallberechnung" (Projection and graphical Crystal Classification) under the same supervisor as his doctoral dissertation. He founded the Institut für Mineralogie und Kristallographie in Heidelberg in association with the Josefine and Eduard von Portheim Stiftung, which he founded in memory of his maternal ancestors. In 1893, he became an adjunct professor (Honorarprofessor) at the University of Heidelberg and in 1913, he was awarded membership in the Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften (Heidelberg Academy of Sciences). During his time on the faculty at Heidelberg, one of his famous students was the American volcanologist Thomas Jaggar.

His Atlas der Krystallformen developed from 1913 until 1923. Around this time, in 1917, he was made a geheimer Hofrat (similar to a Privy Councillor). In 1923, he was made an honorary member of the Naturhistorisch-Medizinischen Verein Heidelberg (Heidelberg Association for Natural History and Medicine). In 1919, he donated his and his wife's extensive collection of art and ethnographic artefacts to the state of Baden as the Josephine and Eduard von Portheim-Stiftung. In 1933, the curatorium of the "v. Portheim-Stiftung" gave its mineralogical-crystallographical institute the name Victor-Goldschmidt-Institut für Kristallforschung.

The Goldschmidts of Frankfurt, contributed significantly to the founding of the Goethe University Frankfurt.[citation needed]


  • Index der Kristallformen, Catalogue of all known crystal forms of all minerals, 3 volumes, 1886-1891.
  • Atlas der Krystallformen, 9 books, Verlag Winters, Heidelberg 1913-1923.

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