Ornithology Manuscript Collections in the
Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections

Louis Agassiz Fuertes Collection

Perhaps the best-known collection in the division is the papers of Louis Agassiz Fuertes, one of the great artists in bird portraiture. The collection was given to the Archives in 1979 by Mary Fuertes Boynton, the artist's daughter. The Fuertes papers include correspondence with ornithologists, artists, and naturalists, especially on the subject of bird coloration, and, particularly, "concealing coloration." The collection also includes student notes; notebooks, sketchbooks, diaries, and expedition journals (many including sketches); photographs of Fuertes; and photographs taken by him on expeditions to South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Most notable in the Fuertes Collection are his art works - more than 2,000 pieces - most of which are pencil, ink, or preliminary watercolor sketches of birds, groups of birds, and anatomical details. More than 100 items are finished watercolors and drawings.

The online Louis Agassiz Fuertes database provides a guide to the documentary material as well as access to the art held at Cornell in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, at the Lab of Ornithology, and in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Pen-and-ink and pencil drawings by Fuertes, collected by Katherine Palmer, are found in a separate collection, but are also included in the database.

 

 

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.