The Tulane Geological Collections


  • Hubert C. Skinner
  • Emily H. Vokes Tulane University


In 1956 when Harold E. Vokes came to Tulane University to build up the Geology Department and institute a graduate program in Geology and Paleontology, the collections of fossil and recent material consisted of the remnants of what originally had been exhibited at the Louisiana Cotton Centennial Exposition. This exposition, which marked the 100-year anniversary of the shipment of the first bale of cotton from the port of New Orleans, was held in what is now Audubon Park, across St. Charles Avenue from the pre· sent Tulane campus. Like all such expositions at this time, fossils, minerals, zoological specimens, etc., were sent by countries all over the world (there was a beautiful mineral collection from Uruguay, for example). After the exposition ended the material was donated to Tulane University and for the next 70 years comprised a "natural history museum" in the attic of the main administration building, Gibson Hall. However, in 1956, coinciding with Vokes's arrival, the University disbanded the museum and distributed the specimens between the Geology and Biology departments.


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