BATON ROUGE, LA -- LSU Libraries’ Special Collections division will host a viewing of the famed double elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s “Birds of America (London, 1827-1838)” during its annual Audubon Day event.
The viewing will be held on Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the McIlhenny Room of Hill Memorial Library.
A renowned masterpiece of natural history art, “Birds of America” records the rich bird and plant life Audubon saw and drew first-hand when he lived in Louisiana in the 1820s. The edition is known as the “elephant” folio because of its large size, with each of the 435 pages measuring 39 by 27 inches. Publication took eleven years, from 1827 to 1838. LSU’s copy was purchased with a grant from the Crown Zellerbach Foundation in 1964, and it has been shown in various venues over the years.
In 2007, it was determined that LSU’s copy could no longer be shown safely due to structural damage to the bindings caused by their large size and other problems with individual plates. In 2008, the Coypu Foundation made a donation of $99,000 to enable conservation of this work by Etherington Conservation Services.