Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio

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Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio
Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio - Plate II - Smithsonian.jpg
Illustration of the Nest of a Wood Thrush, Plate II, 1879, Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Author Howard Jones
Illustrator Genevieve Estelle Jones
Country United States
Subject Ornithology
Publication date

Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio is a two volume book of scientific illustrations published by subscription between the years 1879 and 1886.[1] It was conceived by Genevieve Estelle Jones, who began work on the book in 1877 and was initially its principal illustrator. The book was completed by Jones's family after her death from Typhoid fever.[2]

As a child, Jones accompanied her father, Dr. Nelson Jones, as he visited patients. As they traveled, the two would collect birds' eggs and nests for the family's natural history cabinet. Jones developed an interest in ornithology. When Jones and her father acquired a nest of a Baltimore oriole, Jones searched for a book to use to research and identify it and was surprised that one did not exist. Her brother, Howard, later commented that if she would paint the images for such a book he would collect them for her.[3] In 1876, Jones viewed James Audubon's The Birds of America at the World's Fair in Philadelphia and was inspired to undertake the project.[4]

The initial installment of the book was extremely well received. Ornithologist Elliott Coues, writing in Bulletin of the Nuttall Ornithology Club, wrote that "there has been nothing since Audubon in the way of pictorial illustrations of American Ornithology to compare with the present work - nothing to claim the union of an equal degree of artistic skill and scientific accuracy." Naturalist William Brewster called her illustration of the nest of the Wood Thrush a "perfect masterpiece."[3]

Jones's family collaborated to complete the book after Jones's death. Jones's mother, Virginia Jones, took over first the coloring and then the actual drawing of the illustrations. Dr. Howard Jones wrote the accompanying text, as well as collecting the specimens featured in the illustrations. Jones's father, Dr. Nelson Jones, who had written the original prospectus for the piece, covered most of the costs of its continued publication.[3]


  1. ^ Elizabeth Periale (March 29, 2009). "Women's History Month: Genevieve Estelle Jones". Smithsonian Libraries Blog. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Azadeh Ensha (May 9, 2012). "‘America’s Other Audubon’". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Joy M. Kiser (2004). "Illustrations of Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio: Essay". Smithsonian INstitution Libraries On Display: Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Kaimowitz, Jeffrey (2009). "The Watkinson Library Receives Two Stunning Gifts". News from the Libraries at Trinity College. Trinity College. 2 (2): 1. Retrieved 7 October 2012.