The University of Pittsburgh is fortunate to own one of the rare, complete sets of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. It is considered to be the single most valuable set of volumes in the collections of the University Library System (ULS). Indeed, only 120 complete sets are known to exist.
While Audubon was creating Birds of America, he was also working on a companion publication, namely, his Ornithological Biography. Both of these sets were acquired by William M. Darlington in the mid-nineteenth century and later donated, as part of his extensive library, to the University of Pittsburgh. Recognizing that the Darlington Library includes significant historical materials, such as rare books, maps, atlases, illustrations, and manuscripts, the ULS charted an ambitious course to digitize a large portion of Mr. Darlington’s collection, including the Birds of America.
The University of Pittsburgh Library System is pleased to provide print reproductions from its double elephant folio edition of the Birds of America.
The reproductions are based on high-resolution digital images of the original work of art scanned by the University’s Digital Research Library on an A0 DigiBook SupraScanner. Each plate was digitized at a resolution of 400 ppi true color (24-bit) using a 14000 pixel CCD linear array camera.
We offer four different reprint sizes all produced from the digital source using the giclée process (i.e., ink-jet printing). The Full size is reproduced at 100% of the plate’s original size (26 x 38 inches), including a one-inch border extending beyond the actual plate. Please see the various sizes and pricing on the reverse.
The plate reproductions are printed on 285 gram smooth fine art paper for digital reproductions. The paper is made of 100% cotton linters and traditional matte finish designed for long-term fade-resistant reproductions. The mould-made fine art paper is free of acid and lignin, thus exhibiting high archival quality. Please note that these reproductions are not scuff-proof and should be treated as fine art.
The ULS has contracted with Warren Associates of Pittsburgh to print the plates. They will be shipped in heavy weight mailing tubes via commercial carrier. From receipt of payment to delivery, orders will take approximately four to six weeks to process.
The price of each reproduction includes shipping and handling (within the continental U.S.). The ULS can only accept a check or money order made payable to the University of Pittsburgh. You will be contacted by email to verify your order prior to printing.
Paper Sizes Available:
– Full (original) 27 ¾ x 40 ¼ inches
– Large 20 ¾ x 30 inches
– Medium 12 ¾ x 19 inches
– Small 9 ¾ x 14 inches $ 50.00 (original) 27 ¾ x 40 ¼ inches
Originally sold on subscription basis between 1827-38, the work was priced at $1,000 and was unbound. Its value today is about $9 million, said Dabrishus, who added that the Carnegie Museum of Natural History also owns a folio.
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