Hill Ornithology Collection (Cornell University Library)

Mark Catesby, Magnolia Lauri folio, Subtus Albicante.; The Sweet Flowering Bay.; Coccothraustes caeruleus.; The blue Grosbeak, printed 1771. Image and data from Hill Ornithology Collection, Cornell University Library

Cornell University Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections is located in the Carl A. Kroch Library. Named for Carl A. Kroch, a Cornell alumnus and bookseller, the library was designed especially for the storage of rare materials and opened in 1992. The division's collection include 400,000 printed volumes, over 70 million manuscripts, and more than 1 million photographs, paintings, prints, and other visual media. A number of the visual collections have been digitized and are now available in Artstor, including the Hill Ornithology Collection, Andrew Dickson White Architectural Photographs Collection, and Southeast Asia Visions: John M. Echols Collection.

The Hill Ornithology Collection focuses on North American birds and includes color plate books and other works related to ornithology from the 16th to 19th centuries. A highlight of the collection, which was developed from the private library Kenneth E. and Dorothy V. Hill, is a double-elephant folio of John James Audubon's Birds of America. While the collection's primary goal is to document the pre-1900 development of ornithology as a science and bird illustration as an art form, with particular emphasis in North American ornithology, its holdings also encompass 20th-century publications and ornithological books from all over the world. Selections from the collection are represented in Artstor, with over 250 images tracing the development of ornithological illustration in the 18th and 19th centuries.