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John James Audubon and Audubon family letters, circa 1783-1845

Audubon, John James, 1785-1851

Painter, Illustrator


Collection Information

Size: 2 Microfilm reels, 200 items on 2 partial microfilm reels

Summary: The microfilmed John James Audubon and Audubon family letters contain letters from John James Audubon to his wife, Lucy, and his son Victor. Letters refer to personal affairs, ornithology, and publications. Also included is a fragment of Audubon's journal from New Orleans, 1821.

Biographical/Historical Note

John James Audubon (1785-1851) was an ornithologist, naturalist, painter, and illustrator born in Haiti to a French plantation owner. His work, The Birds of America was originally published as a four-volume elephant folio with 435 hand-colored plates of life-size depictions of individual bird species. The accompanying text was published separately in five volumes as Ornithological Biography .


Lent for microfilming, 1955, by the American Philosophical Society.

Related Materials

The Archives of American Art also holds the microfilmed letters to Samuel G. Morton from Victor and John James Audubon, 1836-1840, and the microfilmed Victor Audubon letters to John L. Le Conte, 1852.
Harvard University Houghton Library holds the John James Audubon papers, 1813-1880 and the John James Audubon letters and drawings, 1805-1892. The American Philosophical Society holds the John James Audubon Papers, 1821-1845. Tulane University Special Collections holds the John James Audubon papers, 1807-1927. Princeton University Library Special Collections holds the John James Audubon Collection, 1788-1970. The New York Public Library Archives & Manuscripts Division holds the John James Audubon correspondence, 1827-1857. Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds the Victor Gifford Audubon collection, 1845-1859.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Originals in the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels P34 (fr. 239-439) and P35 (fr. 1-38) available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

John James Audubon and Audubon family letters, circa 1783-1845. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.