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MS Am 21, MS Am 21.5, MCZ 118

Audubon, John James, 1785-1851. John James Audubon letters and drawings, 1805-1892: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Imaging funded by the Class of 1952 Manuscript Department Fund.

Descriptive Summary

Location: b, f, pf
Call No.: MS Am 21, MS Am 21.5, MCZ 118
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: John James Audubon letters and drawings,
Date(s): 1805-1892 (inclusive), 1805-1847 (bulk).
Quantity: 1 collection (4 linear feet (15 boxes and 1 volume)
Abstract: Letters and drawings by American naturalist John James Audubon.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

98M-51. bMS Am 21, pfMS Am 21, and fMS Am 21.5: Bequest of Joseph Y. Jeanes, 1928. Delivered to Harvard, 1930.
MCZ 118: Deposited by the Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology.


In 1824 Audubon sold many of these drawings to Edward Harris, and later gave others to Harris in gratitude for his continued financial support and friendship. The Harris Collection remained intact until 1892, when a large part was purchased from the estate of Edward Harris 2nd by Joseph Y. Jeanes of Philadelphia. (see Francis H. Herrick, Audubon the Naturalist, New York: D. Appleton, 1917).

Processing Information:

Processed by: Leslie A. Morris, with assistance of Scott V. Edwards

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

John James Audubon Letters and Drawings, 1805-1892 (MS Am 21, MS Am 21.5). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Audubon was an American artist and ornithologost.


Arranged into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Contains professional correspondence of Audubon and 14 boxes of his drawings. Many of the letters are to Audubon's friend and patron Edward Harris who accompanied him on several expeditions. Also includes five drawings deposited by the Ernst Mayr Library, Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ 118).

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