One of the last (but not least!) collections to move during our Big Move was our set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. The Rubenstein Library is fortunate to have a complete double elephant folio set, published between 1827 and 1838. Only 120 sets are known to exist. Our conservation staff was on hand yesterday as the movers carefully lifted and transported the very heavy Audubons to their temporary home. We’re looking forward to them being back on display after the renovation.
Can’t wait until after the renovation to see these great books? The University of Pittsburgh has digitized them.
Every month, RBMSCL staff members turn the pages of the four volume double elephant folio set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. This keeps the rare volumes from developing “preferential openings”—tendencies to open to one particular page that often result when books are on display for long periods of time.
Duke Law student Amanda Pooler, making her first visit to the Rare Book Room, helped select the new openings. She chose the Brown Pelican (Pelicanus Fuscus), the state bird of her native Louisiana, as well as the Raven (Corvus Corax); the Carolina Parrot (Psittacus Carolinensis); and the Kittiwake Gull (Larus Tridactylus).
Stop by the RBMSCL reading room (103 Perkins) during open hours to view these gorgeous prints.