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James Audubon Birds of America prints

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-102

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the Amsterdam Edition of James Audubon's illustrations reprinted in their original elephant folio size by the Johnson Reprint Corporation and the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum in 1971 and 1972. The orignal Birds of America were printed between 1827 and 1838 in Edinburgh and London.


  • Creation: 1971-1972


Language of Materials

This collection contains materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright status of this collection has not been evaluated.

Biographical / Historical

John James Audubon was born in Saint Domingue, present day Haiti, in 1785, and was raised in Nantes France by his stepmother, where he took an active interest in birds, nature, drawing, and music. In 1803, Audubon was sent to America to avoid conscription. He lived on a family-owned estated at Mill Grove, located near Philadelphia. While there he married his wife, Lucy Bakewell, and continued to draw birds. After experiencing some hard times, including being jailed for banctrupcy in 1819, Audubon began his project to draw America's avifauna that resulted in the The American Woodsman, which features life-size portraits of birds accompanied by embellished descriptions of his life in the wilderness. After his 1826 debut of The American Woodsman in England, Audubon discovered a printer for Birds of America in Edinburgh, then London, and later successfully collaborated with William MacGilivray, a Scottish ornithologist, on the Ornithological Biographies of each species depicted. The last print of Birds of America was issued in 1838. The James Audubon Birds of America prints collection are re-printed by the Johnson Reprint Corporation and the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum on 100% pure cotton rag paper with the original Audubon watermark. A multicolor offset lithography process using up to eight different colors was employed to print the illustations of birds, and the project was supervised by edits from the United States Department of the Interior, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Audubon Society.


16.67 Linear Feet (4 Drawers)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was deposited with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on an unknown date by an unknown source.

Processing Information

The processing of this collection is complete.

James Audubon Birds of America prints
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collection Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collection Area

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Library
c/o Special Collections
600 Douglas Street
Chattanooga Tennessee 37403 United States