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.