The name John James Audubon has become synonymous with bird conservation science thanks to Birds of America, his extensive series of paintings sold as life-size prints between 1827 and 1838. Only 120 complete double elephant folio sets of Audubon's masterpiece are thought to exist, the pages of which were printed on "the largest paper sheets available at the time" and hand-colored. The University of Pittsburgh acquired one of these rare complete sets as part of the Darlington Collection (featured in the 5-10-2013 Scout Report). This collection also includes Audubon's Ornithological Biography, written as a companion piece to Birds of America, and the University of Pittsburgh Library has carefully preserved and digitized both works. Here, readers can search and explore all 435 of Audubon's paintings from Birds of America. When browsing the collection by plate name, each plate is paired with a link to the relevant pages from Ornithological Biography, which features Audubon's "lively narratives that describe each bird and includes additional information, such as their habitat." For those interested, the Audubon at Pitt section contains background information about Audubon's work and the library's preservation and digitization project.
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