Audubon's Birds of America
The double elephant folio edition of Audubon's The Birds of America
was published between 1827 and 1838. Subscribers received 87 parts of 5 prints each (one large, one medium and three small prints). The series contains 435 hand colored plates of 1065 birds. "Double elephant" refers to the size of the sheet of paper, which is the largest size that can be made by hand. Each sheet measures more than two by three feet.
There were 308 original subscribers, who paid approximately 00 for a complete set. While there were 308 original subscribers, only 161 subscribers purchased all parts. It is not possible to locate all of the complete sets. Some have been broken up and sold as individual images.
Albert E. Lownes, Class of 1920, presented his copy (bound in six volumes) to the University on the occasion of his 50th Class Reunion in 1970. Mr. Lownes received his copy as a wedding gift.
In addition, to the Double Elephant Folio edition, the library owns several uncolored proofs and an original printing plate, as well as other published editions of Audubon's work.
Library: John Hay
Access to the collection:
Online Catalog (JOSIAH):
for most printed materials available on JOSIAH
Other Online Access:
Exhibit: Harmonie/Harmony (Museum of Civilization of Quebec)
Non-brown Web Page: Index to Birds of America (National Audubon Society)
Non-brown Web Page: Audubon's Birds of America (University of Pittsburgh Libraries)
History of Science Collection
Lownes Science Collection
Lownes (Albert Edgar) Collection