Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Latest Research into the Existence of Depuydt's Demotic Gospel of Thomas

From the archivist at Tulane University:


Thank you for contacting the Louisiana Research Collection. I conducted a preliminary search of our holdings – consulting our online catalog, manuscripts card catalog, online and paper manuscripts finding aids, ephemera collection index, citation index, and image files – and could not find any indication that we have the Proceedings of the New Orleans Academy of Sciences for 1874 or 1875. We do have a number of other sources related to the New Orleans Academy of Sciences, though, including:

A volume of the Proceedings of the New Orleans Academy of Sciences from 1854. Note that this is the same volume Irene Wainwright mentioned in her email to you. As she says, according to WorldCat it appears that this volume from 1854 is held by a number of other libraries as well, and that none of these libraries seem to have other volumes of the Proceedings other than 1854.

We also have several editions of the NOAS’s Constitution and Bylaws from 1854, 1859, and 1886-1887. These also include lists of officers and fellows of the organization for those years. R. S. Walker is not listed in any of them.

We have a series of loose unbound papers read before the New Orleans Academy of Sciences. You can view the catalog records for these papers here:


There is no sign of R. S. Walker’s paper among them. I am attaching a scanned copy of the title page of a paper from close to the same period so that you can compare the layout and typography with that of the photocopied paper you refer to.

We also have a folder of ephemera related to the New Orleans Academy of Sciences in our Ephemera Collection. These documents date almost entirely from the twentieth century, though there are two additional copies of the NOAS constitution from the 1850s.

As you say, we do have the archival papers of Joseph Slemmons Copes in our collection. As you point out, there appear to be a number of references to the NOAS in the Copes papers, but it is difficult to say whether or not there are documents in this very large collection which relate specifically to R. S. Walker. Unfortunately, due to limited staffing resources and ethical considerations, we cannot provide extensive research services as a substitute for an in-person visit. We expect that researchers take responsibility for doing their own research and drawing their own conclusions from their research. Our collections are open to the public, and we would be glad to have you visit our archive. We suggest that you make plans to visit us in person, or, if that is not possible, to hire a researcher to use our holdings on your behalf. It may be helpful to contact a specific academic department at Tulane related to your area of research (e.g. history, linguistics, or Judeo-Chrsitian studies). They often will know of graduate students willing to do research-for-hire. I wish you the best of luck in your research.



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