John Gould’s The Birds of Australia

Did you know only 250 sets of John Gould’s The Birds of Australia were published? The Queensland Museum library has one complete set of the seven volumes and supplement, as well as an incomplete set that was one of the first acquisitions for library in 1876.
 
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Beautiful Grass-Finch, Poephila mirabilis, now a synonym of Erythrura (Chloebia) gouldiae (Gould, 1844), Red-headed form of Gouldian Finch. Hand-coloured lithograph from John Gould’s “Birds of Australia” Vol.III. Queensland Museum Library.
 
Gould acknowledged in the preface that it was mammoth ten-year effort creating this work. There are 602 lithograph plates illustrating the bird species, of which half were unknown to natural historians at the time. Elizabeth, Gould’s wife, sketched most of these species, which formed the basis of the lithographs.
 
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Illustration from Gould’s book, Queensland Museum / Image courtesy of Queensland Museum, Jeff Wright.
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Illustration from Gould’s book, Queensland Museum / Image courtesy of Queensland Museum, Jeff Wright.
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Illustration from Gould’s book, Queensland Museum / Image courtesy of Queensland Museum, Jeff Wright.
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Image of Gould’s book taken by Madison Mayfield.

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