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Audubon family correspondence, 1846 Nov. 17-1942 Jan. 28

Identifier: Mss .A93


  • (bulk 1898-1914).


Restrictions on Access

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Biographical sketch

John James Audubon was a naturalist and artist, known especially for his work on birds. His The birds of America was first published 1827-1838; The viviparous quadrupeds of North America, published 1845-1853.

Biographical sketch

Thomas Lincoln was a Maine farmer, a friend and contemporary of J.J. Audubon's son John Woodhouse Audubon. Lincoln accompanied J.J. Audubon on his 1833 journey to Labrador.

Biographical sketch

George Bird Grinnell was a naturalist and conservationist. He founded the first Audubon Society in 1886.

Biographical sketch

Frank M. Chapman was an ornithologist at the AMNH 1888- ; curator of birds 1908- and chairman, Dept. of Ornithology, 1920-1942.


0.25 Linear Feet (66 items)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Letter from Thomas Lincoln: George B. Grinnell. Method of acquisition--Gift;; Date of acquisition--1932..

Cumulative Index/Finding Aids Note

folder 1. Lincoln letter to Audubon (with photocopy). Grinnell article reprint -- folder 2. Letters between Maria R. Audubon and Frank M. Chapman re: Wild turkey painting bought by J.E. Thayer -- folder 3. General correspondence -- folder 4. Letters re: painting of dog and pheasants -- folder 5. Letter and reply re: habits of sparrows vs. starlings -- folder 6. List of paintings and other material seen at Salem, N.Y., by H.C. Bumpus, March 14, 1905 and indicated by the Misses Audubon as being by them intended for presentation to the AMNH.

Scope and content

The collection consists of handwritten and typewritten letters (some carbon copies) primarily between John James Audubon's granddaughters Maria R. Audubon and Mary Eliza Audubon, and ornithologists and directors of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). The earliest item is an 1846 letter from Thomas Lincoln to J.J. Audubon answering questions on North American mammals, with a reprint of a 1924 article (Journal of mammalogy vol. 5, no. 4) by George Bird Grinnell describing and discussing the letter. The article includes the complete text of the letter. The granddaughters' handwritten, signed letters are addressed to F.M. Chapman, concerning various works by their grandfather, many on display at or on loan to the AMNH, and whether the Museum is interested in purchasing them and/or acquiring more Audubon material. Chapman's replies are typewritten (usually carbon copies) and unsigned; directors of the AMNH H.C. Bumpus (1902-1911) and F.A. Lucas (1911-1924) provide additional replies when queried by Chapman. Waldron DeWitt Miller, ornithologist and naturalist at the AMNH 1903-1929, writes and receives one M.E. Audubon reply when F.M. Chapman is away on expedition (Miller's letter dated May 2, 1911). Also included are letters from AMNH librarian Hazel Gay attempting to track down a painting of dog and pheasants (descriptive titles suggested: Dog and pheasants; Setter and pheasants; Pheasants).

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The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation provided support to make this finding aid available in ArchivesSpace (2016-2017). Minimal level collection record created with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections grant, 2010.

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420