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.