Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy (VNIS) can be used to measure reflectance spectra (wavelength 350-2500 nm) for sediment cores and samples. A local ground-truth calibration of spectral features to mineral percentages is calculated by measuring reflectance spectra for a suite of samples of known mineralogy. This approach has been tested on powders, core plugs and split cores, and we conclude that it works well on all three, unless pore water is present. Initial VNIS studies have concentrated on determination of relative proportions of carbonate, opal, smectite and illite in equatorial Pacific sediments. Shipboard VNIS-based determination of these four components was demonstrated on Ocean Drilling Program Leg 199. ?? The Geological Society of London 2006.