American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Birds of America

Roseate Spoonbill from The Birds of America
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Roseate Spoonbill from
The Birds of America

London: 1827-1838
Color lithographic plate 321, 1836
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
War Department transfer

Little Blue Heron from Birds of America
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Little Blue Heron from
Birds of America

London: 1827-1838
Color plate 307
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
War Department transfer (114A.8)

Rock Grous
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Rock Grous from
Birds of America

London: 1827-1838
Color plate 368
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
War Department transfer (114A.9)

King Rail (Rallus Elegans)
John James Audubon (1785–1851)
King Rail
(Rallus Elegans)
Birds of America.
London: 1827–1838
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
War Department transfer (114B.3)

Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis)
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Ivory-billed Woodpecker
(Campephilus principalis)

Birds of America.
London: 1827-1838
Rare Book & Special Collection Division
Purchase, 1980 (114B.11)

The most celebrated work of American ornithology, Birds of America by John James Audubon owes much to its author's determination to have his art reproduced by the best possible craftsmen and to his insistence that the drawings be reproduced life-size, as he had drawn them. Often referred to as the Elephant Folios, the 435 plates were sized to accommodate Audubon's depictions of bird specimens. Audubon could find no American publisher willing to take on this complicated and expensive venture, so he went to England. There he found both master engravers and over half of his subscribers, including King George IV.

Bald Eagle from Birds of America
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Bald Eagle from Birds of America
London: 1827-1838
Color plate 359
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
War Department transfer (114A.11)

Oyster Catcher (Haematopus Palliatus)
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Oyster Catcher (Haematopus Palliatus)
from Birds of America
London: 1827-1838
Color plate 223
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
War Department transfer (114B.1)


John James Audubon (1785-1851)
Red-headed duck
(Fuligula Ferina)
Birds of America
London: 1827-1838
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
War Department transfer (114B.2)

California Partridge
John James Audubon (1785–1851)
"California Partridge,” also called "Valley Quail"
(Perdix californica)
Birds of America.
London: 1827–1838
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
Purchase, 1980 (114B.4)

American Egret (Casmerodius Albus)
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
American Egret (Casmerodius Albus)
Birds of America.
London: 1827-1838
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
Purchase, 1980 (114B.6)

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