Registration is open for the LSU Libraries Special Collections' Audubon Day on May 18 in Hill Memorial Library.

During this annual event, members of the staff turn pages of the famed double elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s "Birds of America" and share anecdotes and information about the books, the collections and the birds.

Admission is free, but a timed one-hour reservation is required and space is limited. Reservations should be made for one of the viewings, which will at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Only 40 people will be allowed in each showing. To register, visit

A renowned masterpiece of natural history art, the "Birds of America" records the rich bird and plant life Audubon saw and drew firsthand when he lived in Louisiana in the 1820s. The edition is known as the “elephant” folio because of its large size, with each of its 435 pages measuring 39-by-27 inches.

Publication took 11 years, from 1827 to 1838. LSU's copy of the "Birds of America" was purchased with a grant from the Crown Zellerbach Foundation in 1964, and it has been shown in various venues over the years. These books are part of the E.A. McIlhenny Natural History Collection at Hill Memorial Library, one of the most prestigious collections of its kind, with particular strengths in New World botanical and ornithological illustration.

The "Birds of America" folio was restored in 2008 through a generous donation by the Coypu Foundation to enable conservation of this important work. Over the course of more than a year, the work was painstakingly completed. LSU Libraries’ copy belonged to one of the original subscribers, the Duke of Northumberland (1785-1847).

Parking is accessible in the Indian Mounds lot, behind Hill Memorial Library and in the Peabody lot adjacent to Hill Memorial Library.

In addition to the viewings, there will be a kids coloring table, representatives from BREC and birds from the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital's rehabilitated resident raptors program.

LSU Press also will be selling copies of Marybeth Lima's book "Adventures of a Louisiana Birder" and other titles.