Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006


Among the greatest treasures of the antebellum South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) was its set of Audubon's huge double-elephant folio Birds of America, published in parts between 1827 and 1838, and purchased by the South Carolina state legislature for the College. Fewer than 130 complete sets, with all 435 plates, now survive. In addition to its main archival set of Birds of America, USC’s Thomas Cooper Library bas received numerous donations of significant items to its Audubon collections over the years. The exhibition traces the development of bird illustration, to give a context for viewing Audubon's achievement. The exhibit is arranged chronologically, starting with European bird illustrations of the sixteenth century and concluding with Audubon's successors in 19th century America.


This catalog accompanied the April-June, 2006 USC Libraries exhibit, John James Audubon & Ornithological Illustration. The exhibit coincided with the announcement of the Davy-Jo Ridge Library Endowment which was initiated to support the Audubon collection.