We have been investigating the spectroscopy of actinides in materials having relevance to nuclear waste management. Discussed here are the excitation and emission profiles of curium in high temperature borosilicate glasses, and pure halide compounds. Probing the local coordination environment of Cm(III) in these matrices has been one of the goals of this study. Comparison of the nephelauxetic effects indicate that the silicate matrix provides a more basic environment than either F− or Cl− surroundings found in pure compounds of curium. As a result, f - f transition energies are red shifted significantly in the silicate matrix as compared to that of the neat CmF3 system. Moreover, laser induced emissions have been noted with CmF4 after treatment at elevated temperatures. The higher energy spectral region, consisting of emission bands at 20100 and 16750, is assignable to f - f transitions in Cm(III), which is the expected thermal decomposition product. Energy transfer from Cm(III), followed by a second photon absorption is believed to be responsible for the strong emission bands at 12550, and 13580 cm−1. from presently unidentified emitting species. Results are discussed in relation to the oxidation state and fluorescence dynamics of actinide species in neat compounds, as well as in matrices being considered for waste immobilization.