University of Pittsburgh
November 8, 2016

Pitt’s Audubon Day Showcases Rare Prints from Birds of America

Two live birds from National Aviary will make an appearance

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

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PITTSBURGH—Pitt’s University Library System will hold its annual Audubon Day from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Nov. 11 at Hillman Library, 3960 Forbes Ave., Oakland. This year it includes a meet-and-greet with a Red-tailed Hawk and a Eurasian Eagle Owl, compliments of the National Aviary, America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds.American Flamingo 

Audubon Day celebrates Birds of America by John James Audubon. Comprising 435 life-sized, hand-colored prints of birds, the rare complete set at Pitt is the single most-valuable set of materials in the University Library System collections. 

Programming for this year’s event follows. 

Special Collections Reading Room
363 Hillman Library
9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
Display of more than two dozen original prints from Birds of America. 

Digital Scholarship Commons
G-49 Hillman Library
9:15 a.m.
Live bird meet-and-greet featuring a Red-tailed Hawk 

10 a.m.
“When I am 64: The National Aviary Through the Years”
Patricia O’Neill, director of education, National Aviary 

11 a.m.
“The Allegheny Commons and its Neighbors: The Origins and Ongoing Development of an Urban Landscape”
David Grinnell, reference archivist, University Library System 

1:15 p.m.
Live bird meet-and-greet featuring a Eurasian Eagle Owl 

2 p.m.
“Up Close and Scientific with Birds”
Bob Mulvihill, ornithologist, National Aviary 

Pitt’s copy of Birds of America was a part of a much larger bequest of manuscripts, books, maps, and atlases gifted to the University in 1918 and 1925 by the family of William McCullough Darlington. In 2000, Pitt experts performed a plate-by-plate assessment of the Audubon collection and discovered paper tears, stains, smudges, and even cigar ashes. The University Library System contracted with Etherington Conservation to undertake a major preservation project on the set. In 2006, another ambitious project was launched to digitize Darlington’s collection. The result is the Darlington Digital Library, which includes Audubon’s Birds of America



American Flamingo