Have you been to seen the film American Animals yet? It’s all about some students trying to steal valuable books from their university library!
One of the books in question is a rare volume of Birds of America by James John Audubon; only 120 complete sets of Audubon’s 435 hand-coloured, life-sized engravings of America’s birds are believed to exist today. Sadly we don’t have any of these volumes, but we do have a copy of ‘The Art of Audubon: the complete birds and mammals’. While only coming in at 29 cms tall (compared to over 90cms for the original volumes), and certainly not worth $10 million, it still has all the illustrations from the original.
You can also access online versions of original copies, including Turning the pages at the British Library (virtual software that allows you to virtually read some of the valuable and delicate books from their collection), as well as plates from the Audubon Society, and also the University of Pittsburgh library And if that’s not enough, you can access Bridgeman Education via the library catalogue and search through hundreds of Audubon images (login with username and password). So, no need to steal one.
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