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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1482

John James Audubon papers


Correspondence and manuscripts of American ornithologist and artist John James Audubon.


  • Creation: 1813-1880, (bulk) 1828-1855.

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


1.25 linear feet (3 boxes)

Contains professional correspondence, mostly letters from Audubon to Robert Havell, Jr., the English engraver for The Birds of America; John Bachman, the naturalist with whom Audubon collaborated on Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America; and Thomas Mayo Brewer, the ornithologist and oðologist; also letters from Audubon's wife, Lucy, and son, Victor, to Havell and Bachman; letters from Brewer to Bachman; and some correspondence with other naturalists. Also includes a few manuscript drafts by Audubon for his Ornithological Biography and some financial papers.

The final series includes 2 typescript transcript volumes [item (378)] of the "Audubon-Bachman Correspondence, 1833-1855".

Biographical / Historical

Audubon was an American artist and ornithologist.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Miscellanea
  3. III. Transcripts

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

42M-2089. Deposited by Museum of Comparative Zoology; received: 1941.

Audubon, John James, 1785-1851. John James Audubon papers, 1813-1880: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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