The collection contains autograph letters, signed, written by John James Audubon to his wife Lucy Green Bakewell Audubon and colleagues, one of his engraved visiting cards, and autograph manuscript writings by Audubon and fellow naturalists Thomas McCulloch, Thomas Nuttall, and John Kirk Townsend. Prominent among the letters is one of 4,000 words from Audubon to his wife, written from Edinburgh in 1826, in which he describes exhibitions of his drawings and various social events, with a transcription of a phrenologist's reading that he had received. Also included are an 1898 letter from ornithologist Leonard C. Sanford to Sarah Manning Sage, the wife of collector Dean Sage, and a letter from John Woodhouse Audubon, son of John James Audubon, to A. J. Crossman. Prominent among the writings are 118 essays published in Audubon's Ornithological Biography (1831-39), describing plates included in his major work The Birds of America (1827-38), and an annotated pencil drawing of a petrel. Much of the material in the collection was formerly owned by William Robertson Coe.