Dome levels 4 and 5 will be closed to the public from Monday 13 May to Friday 24 May. Visit our refreshed World of the Book exhibition from Saturday 25 May.

Home > View & Discuss > Audubon's astonishing 'Birds of America'

Audubon's astonishing 'Birds of America'

  • Date recorded: 17 Nov 2020

  • Duration: 02:45

About this video

Birds of America by John James Audubon is the finest ornithological book ever produced – and one of the greatest works of book art.

Bound in four volumes, the complete set contains 435 portraits of North American birds, each painstakingly hand-painted and reproduced at life size.

So it's no coincidence that it holds pride of place in our World of the book exhibition.

In this short video, Principal Librarian Des Cowley reveals the intriguing stories behind this astonishing work of art, including how the Library came to acquire it.