John James Audubon collection
Call Number: GEN MSS 829
Scope and Contents
The collection contains letters written by John James Audubon to his wife and colleagues, one of his engraved visiting cards, and writings by Audubon and fellow naturalists Thomas McCulloch, Thomas Nuttall, and John Kirk Townsend. Prominent among the letters is a fair copy of two letters (4,000 words) from Audubon to his wife Lucy, written in Edinburgh in 1826, in which he describes the exhibition of his drawings and various social events in the city, with a transcription of a phrenologist's reading that he had received. Some of the letters are accompanied by typed transcriptions, and one includes an 1898 letter from ornithologist Leonard C. Sanford to the wife of collector Dean Sage. Prominent among the writings are some of Audubon's essays published as Ornithological Biography (1831-1839), describing plates included in his major work The Birds of America (1827-1838). Also included is one letter from Audubon's son, John Woodhouse Audubon to A. J. Crossman.
- 1823 - 1898
- Majority of material found within 1826 - 1840
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The John James Audubon Collection is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of William Robertson Coe, Yale 1949 Hon., 1952-1954; Purchased from B. Tighe on the William Robertson Coe Fund, 1954; Purchased from Wormser on the William Robertson Coe Fund, 1955.
Organized into two series: I. Correspondence, 1823-1898. II. Writings, 1826-1835.
0.46 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
The collection contains autograph letters, signed, written by John James Audubon to his wife Lucy Green Bakewell Audubon and colleagues, one of his engraved visiting cards, and autograph manuscript writings by Audubon and fellow naturalists Thomas McCulloch, Thomas Nuttall, and John Kirk Townsend. Prominent among the letters is one of 4,000 words from Audubon to his wife, written from Edinburgh in 1826, in which he describes exhibitions of his drawings and various social events, with a transcription of a phrenologist's reading that he had received. Also included are an 1898 letter from ornithologist Leonard C. Sanford to Sarah Manning Sage, the wife of collector Dean Sage, and a letter from John Woodhouse Audubon, son of John James Audubon, to A. J. Crossman. Prominent among the writings are 118 essays published in Audubon's Ornithological Biography (1831-39), describing plates included in his major work The Birds of America (1827-38), and an annotated pencil drawing of a petrel. Much of the material in the collection was formerly owned by William Robertson Coe.
John James Audubon (1785-1851)
American naturalist best known for his major work The Birds of America and The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.
A large part of the collection was given to the library by William Robertson Coe (1869-1955), who also donated his ornithological books to Yale University.
Former call number: MS Vault Shelves Audubon
- Abert, John James, 1788-1863
- Audubon, John James, 1785-1851
- Audubon, John James, 1785-1851 (Audubon's Birds of America)
- Audubon, John James, 1785-1851 (Ornithological biography)
- Audubon, John Woodhouse, 1812-1862
- Audubon, Lucy Green Bakewell, 1788-1874
- Birds -- North America
- Coe, William Robertson, 1869-1955 -- Ownership
- Harlan, Richard, 1796-1843
- Havell, Robert, 1793-1878
- McCulloch, Thomas, 1776-1843
- Natural history -- United States
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1786-1859
- Ornithologists -- 19th century -- United States
- Ornithologists -- United States
- Ornithology -- United States
- Petrels -- Pictorial works
- Rozier, Jean Ferdinand, 1777-1864
- Sage, Sarah Manning, 1841-1915
- Sanford, L. C. (Leonard Cutler), 1868-1950
- Townsend, John Kirk, 1809-1851
- Guide to the John James Audubon Collection
- by Sandra Markham
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- 2015 November: File titles updated