Skip to main content

Lifelong Learning - Natural History Treasures at the Lilly

April 10 to 24, 2023 at 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. EST
Lilly Library, 1200 E. 7th Street, Bloomington, IN, 47405

Three Mondays, April 10, 17, 24

4–5 p.m. ET

In Person: The Lilly Library

1200 E 7th St., Bloomington, IN

$40 per person


The course will introduce participants to the rich holdings in American natural history at IU’s Lilly Library, from Mark Catesby’s Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (1731–43) to Gaylord Schanilec and Ben Verhoeven’s Sylvae (2008). 

Participants will learn how early American naturalists used visual and verbal means to capture a beauty they realized at the time was already vanishing rapidly. One course session will be devoted to Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827–1838) and Viviparous Quadrupeds (1845–48); an additional focus will consider Indiana natural history. Participants will also be given a chance to tour the Lilly Library’s main gallery exhibition in spring 2023, “Flora + Fauna: A Bounty of Beasts and Botanicals.”

Photo Credit:  Courtesy of the IU Lilly Library 


About the Instructor:

Christoph Irmscher is distinguished professor and provost professor of English at IU, as well as director of the university’s Wells Scholars program. He is the author of many books, including The Poetics of Natural History (2nd edition, 2019) and most recently, along with Rich King, Audubon at Sea (2022). He is a regular book reviewer for The Wall Street Journal