The Audubon Room provides an accessible, dedicated space for the permanent display, on a rotating basis, of some of the greatest treasures from the Library's collections. Dedicated in 2009, the Audubon Room represents a significant milestone in our goal to share all of our collections with the widest possible audience.
The University of Michigan Library marks its formal beginning with the purchase in 1839 of John James Audubon's The Birds of America (1827–1838), a collection of hand-colored prints that are as scientifically accurate as they are beautiful. The Board of Regents paid $970—an immense amount of money at the time—for the 435 Plates, then bound in 4 volumes, demonstrating to the world their intent to make the University of Michigan a learning institution of the highest quality. The Audubon Room includes a custom-designed case for the permanent display of Audubon's masterpiece, a page of which is turned weekly.
We are deeply grateful to Bernard J. Sivak, M.D. (BA 1950), Jennifer R. Poteat, and Stephen S. Clark (BSEME 1974, MBA 1976), whose generous gifts allowed us to create the exhibit space we proudly call the Audubon Room.