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Find books, journals, ebooks, government documents, DVDs, CDs, and more in the library catalog.

title card for the exhibit john james audubon's birds and mammals of illinois featuring an image of two birds on a tree branch

A selection of artwork by John James Audubon is on display in Morris Library's Hall of Presidents until May 17 as part of an exhibit called John James Audubon’s Birds and Mammals of Illinois. The exhibit is open Monday - Friday, 10am - 4pm. Visitors must follow Morris Library's COVID-19 response measures.

John James Audubon’s book The Birds of America (1827-1838) is a monumental achievement in nature painting, scientific study, and book printing. Originally appearing in 4 volumes on double elephant folio paper (38" x 26") featuring 435 plates, it required two decades of work and $115,000 ($2 million today) to produce. It was the most comprehensive ornithological record of bird species in North America. Audubon followed it up with a similar study of land mammals, Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1845-1854). The exhibit features 40 prints selected from that text and the subsequent octavo edition of Birds, originally published in 7 volumes in 1840-1844. They provide an artistic glimpse of the life of nature in southern Illinois. Audubon lived in nearby Henderson, KY, from 1810-1819 and made several "rambles" into the region—at the time a sparsely populated frontier wilderness, yet one rich in diversity of plant and animal species.