Hill Collection Early- to Mid-19th
The 19th century was a highly significant period in the annals of ornithology. The
extensive pursuit of natural history was stimulated by the continuing exploration of new
worlds. The discovery of improved techniques for preserving specimens and the invention of lithography allowed the techniques of bird
illustration to reach a height of beauty and accuracy hitherto impossible.
During this period the depiction of birds changed from one of stiff, lifeless, perched
individuals to more lifelike groupings with correct backgrounds and displays of nests,
eggs, mates, and young. Illustrations and textual descriptions increasingly went hand in
hand to explain and report ornithological discoveries, theories, and classification
The Hill Ornithology Collection abounds in important 19th-century ornithological
literature and includes numerous beautifully illustrated volumes.
Online guide developed from:
Ornithology Collections in the Libraries at Cornell University: A Descriptive Guide
Revised Edition, 1999
Ithaca, New York
© 1999 Cornell University Library
Webpage last revised: 6/10/99 by jfc & clsb.