About this collection
Birds of America consists of 435 plates, bound in four volumes. Each plate was hand colored in London under the direction of Audubon and engraver Robert Havell, Jr. The book is referred to as a double elephant folio due to its size. At 21.5 x 39.5 inches and 40 pounds it is one of the largest and heaviest books in our collection. Our copy was purchased in 1870 from Joseph Longworth (son of Cincinnati millionaire Nicholas Longworth). It was originally owned by Dr. Thomas Edmonson of Baltimore, Maryland. Volumes 1-4 are on permanent display in the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room on the 3rd floor of the Main Library.