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Pitt To Celebrate Fifth Annual Audubon Day

John James Audubon
University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh celebrates its fifth annual Audubon Day this weekend, as 24 of the 435 prints in the John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” collection are displayed in the school’s library.  Assistant University Librarian Mike Dabrishus and President of Second Story Books Alan Stypeck joined Essential Pittsburgh to preview this event.

“This is an opportunity for us at the University Library at Pitt to showcase one of our prized collections,” explains Dabrishus. 

Audubon Day celebrates Audubon coming to Pittsburgh and painting the passenger pigeon, a bird that has since been hunted to extinction. 

The collection featured at the university’s library is the most valuable collection in the library.  The Audubon set, which is a part of the William Darlington collection, also includes historical artifacts, including original letters from George Washington during the French and Indian War, and the original newspaper from Virginia breaking the news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

In 1925, the University received this collection from William Darlington’s children.

“Everything in this collection is dedicated primarily to the creation of an exploratory and historical appreciation of Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh,” Stypeck explained.

The collection will be on display Friday Nov. 6 from 9am-5pm on the special collections floor of the library.

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

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