The mineralogy of airborne dust affects the impact of dust particles on direct and indirect radiative forcing, on atmospheric chemistry and on biogeochemical cycling. It is determined partly by the mineralogy of the dust-source regions and partly by size-dependent fractionation during erosion and transport. Here we present a data set that characterizes the clay and silt-sized fractions of global soil units in terms of the abundance of 12 minerals that are important for dust-climate interactions: quartz, feldspars, illite, smectite, kaolinite, chlorite, vermiculite, mica, calcite, gypsum, hematite and goethite. The basic mineralogical information is derived from the literature, and is then expanded following explicit rules, in order to characterize as many soil units as possible. We present three alternative realizations of the mineralogical maps, taking the uncertainties in the mineralogical data into account. We examine the implications of the new database for calculations of the single scattering albedo of airborne dust and thus for dust radiative forcing.