John A. Allan (1884-1955)
Curator 1912-1949, Mineralogy/Petrology and Paleontology Collections
“Dr. Allan had a strong belief in the collection and display of geological and paleontological specimens for teaching both students and the public... . The twin role of student and public education continues today for both the museums and collections of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, a fitting legacy of its founder Dr. John A. Allan.”
- Tom Chacko, Curator, Mineralogy and Petrology Collection
Dr. John Allan remains a seminal figure in the history of the University of Alberta and our museums. Not only did he establish the Department of Geology (now the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), but he also initiated one of the first museum collections on campus by founding the Geological Museum (now the Mineralogy/Petrology and Paleontology Museums).
As the sole faculty member of the department in the early years, Dr. Allan worked tirelessly to establish the museum collections. He engaged some of the best workers in their fields to help build the museum collections and had the foresight to ensure that invaluable scientific resources remained in the province at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Allan’s commitment and guidance led to a visually interesting and instructive collection of important specimens. The paleontological specimens were the first dinosaurs placed on public exhibit in Canada west of Toronto, and the mineral heritage represented in the collection is literally irreplaceable.
He held a strong belief in the collection and exhibition of geological and paleontological specimens for teaching students and the public; this philosophy continues today, a fitting legacy from Dr. Allan.
Adapted from nomination by Tom Chacko, Curator, Mineralogy and Petrology Collection, and support letters by Ron Mussieux, Curator of Geology (retired), Royal Alberta Museum, and Clive Coy, Dino-Lab Coordinator, Dept. of Biological Sciences.