Ornithology Library of the Cornell Lab of
The Ornithology Library in the Lyman K. Stuart Observatory at Sapsucker Woods is part
of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. It is
also an affiliate of Cornell University Library and maintains a close working relationship
particularly with the Albert R. Mann Library.
Since the Lab is located several miles from the Cornell campus, the collection serves
as a convenient source of reference for its staff. It supplies considerable material for
the Lab's public education and research programs and is consulted regularly to answer the
many questions the laboratory receives from all over the world on the subject of birds.
Ornithology Library books do not circulate, but visitors are welcome to use them in the
Most of the books duplicate titles held at Mann Library or, in some cases, in other
Cornell campus libraries. Catalog records for the Ornithology Library's holdings are
included in the national library databases and the Cornell University Library Online Catalog.
The book collection in the Ornithology Library numbers about 3,000 volumes. It is
particularly strong on field guides and on publications that cover bird families, or
species, worldwide. Although the Ornithology Library has copies of some historical titles,
it does not attempt to keep a rare book collection.
The Ornithology Library has two special book collections of interest. One is the
William D. Sargent Collection on Falconry, which contains about fifty historical volumes
from Sargent's personal library. The second special collection is that of publications
illustrated or written by Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Although copies of the Fuertes titles are
also available in the Mann Library collection and in some cases in the Ornithology
Library's general book collection, the Lab is unique at Cornell in assembling these titles
in one grouping.
The Ornithology Library, like Mann Library, has many of the major ornithological
journals, including historical runs of such titles as Audubon, Auk, Condor, and Ibis.
In addition, it has a unique collection of locally-oriented newsletters and magazines
issued by bird clubs and societies. Coverage of United States publications of this type is
extensive. A special effort is made to acquire all publications of the some forty-five
organizational members of the Federation of New York State Bird Clubs. Back files of some
newsletter titles are also maintained if the content is deemed of continuing interest to
Lab staff and patrons. In many cases, though, only current issues are kept.
In all, the Ornithology Library holds partial or complete runs of several hundred
serial titles. Only a very few of these are recorded in the national or Cornell databases.
Information about specific holdings of a title may be requested from the staff of the
Ornithology Library. Most journals and newsletters are received as part of an active
exchange program for the laboratory's publication, the Living Bird.
The Ornithology Library exists primarily to serve the staff of the Cornell Laboratory
of Ornithology, but it also acts as a backup to the various ornithology collections in the
libraries on the Cornell University campus.
Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850
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.