Mailing Address:
Special Collections
College of Charleston Library
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424

(843) 953-8016

Title: Jay Shuler Collection

Collection #: 0066

Dates: 1979-1995

Size: 2.5 linear feet

Biographical Note: James B. Shuler (1926-1997) was author of the book: Shuler, Jay. Had I Wings: the Friendship of Bachman and Audubon. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1995. This collection of his papers consists almost exclusively of information relating to John Bachman and John James Audubon. Shuler was also the author of other publications about the natural history of South Dakota and South Carolina (McClellanville), and he was an interpreter for the National Park Service in North Carolina and South Dakota.

Scope and Content Note: The collections consists primarily of photocopies of all known published and unpublished letters by Bachman and Audubon. Shuler accomplished much of the work which would be necessary to publish the complete papers of either Bachman or Audubon.

The unpublished letters are primarily from Audubon collections at Harvard and Yale and secondarily in the Charleston Museum, the American Philosophical Society, the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, and the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas.

Shuler made typescripts of the letters which relate to Bachman's contributions to Audubon's "Birds of America (1827-1838)" and to the collaboration by Bachman and Audubon for their "Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1846-1854)." These are filed in chronological order from 1831-1857 (including letters from Audubon's sons). There is a separate chronological file of Bachman family correspondence and other files of Bachman family correspondence collected by Bachman descendants including William C. Coleman and Annie (Mrs. Francis J. H.) Coffin.

Shuler annotated photocopies of the three published volumes of Audubon's letters and Audubon's journals: Corning, Howard, ed. Letters of John James Audubon, 1826- 1840. Boston: The Club of Odd Volumes, 1930 and Corning, Howard, ed. Journal of John James Audubon: made while obtaining subscriptions to his "Birds of America," 1840- 1843. Boston: Club of Odd Volumes, 1929. He collected photocopies of all Bachman's articles and pamphlets he was able to locate. He added information from the files of St. John's Lutheran Church, where Bachman was pastor from 1815-1874. He heavily annotated a photocopy of "John Bachman, D.D., LL. D, Ph. D." compiled by Bachman's grandson John Bachman Haskell and edited by C. L. Bachman (1888).

The collection also contains three drafts of the text for "Had I the Wings", editorial correspondence, and related materials including a journal Shuler kept while writing the book from 1979-1983.

Subject Headings:

Bachman, John, 1790-1874.
Audubon, John James, 1785-1851.
Shuler, Jay. Had I the wings : the friendship of Bachman and Audubon.
Naturalists -- United States.
Ornithologists -- United States.
Animal painters -- United States.
Lutheran Church -- South Carolina -- Clergy.
Natural history -- United States.



Copies of Bachman and Audubon letters by Manuscript Collection

Photocopies of 66 Audubon family and other letters to Bachman and others in the Harvard University Library (bMS Am 1482: 160-367 passim; mostly letters from Victor G. Audubon to Bachman re text for the Quadrupeds, some earlier letters from Audubon and others to Bachman, etc.), 1833-1855 1/1

Typescripts of letters at Harvard

1. 1833-1847 1/2

1. 1847-1855 1/3

1. Houghton MSS (notes and primarily typescripts of letters from Audubon to Bachman), 1834-1846 1/4

Photocopies of Bachman-Audubon letters at Yale University (primarily from Bachman to Audubon and the Audubon family), 1832-c. 1843 1/5

Typescripts of Bachman-Audubon letters in the Charleston Museum (Annie Coffin Collection), 1837-1842 1/6

Photocopies, typescripts, and notes on Bachman letters in the American Philosophical Society, 1842-1848 (Bachman to Audubon family and to Samuel George Morton, Charles Pickering to Bachman, George Ord to Charles Waterton re Audubon, Audubon to Bachman, etc.; partial typescripts) 1/7

Photocopies and typescripts of letters in the Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (Bachman and Audubon to Richard Harland), 1831-1835 1/8

Photocopies, typescripts, abstracts, etc., of Audubon family letters in the Stark Museum of Art (Orange, Texas; approx.100 letters from Audubon, Lucy Bakewell Audubon, and Bakewell family to a cousin and subscriber Miss Gifford), 1789-1838 1/9


Chronological files of copies of all relevant correspondence known (copies of typescripts and photocopies of printed letters with extensive annotations)

Bachman-Audubon letters, 1831-1857 (incomplete and see also, 2/2) 2/1

Bachman family letters, 1827-1849 (incomplete and see also, 2/1) 2/2

Research files on John Bachman collected by William C. Coleman Correspondence with Tyler and Coffin 2/3

Draft for a biography of Bachman by Morris Tyler 2/4

Letters by W. G. Bakewell to Victor Audubon, (typescripts), 1850-1857 2/5

Misc. letters of Bachman descendants 2/6

Audubon and sons letters (typescripts), 1833-1852 2/7

Bachman-Audubon family letters (typescripts), 1831-1846 (Tyler copies) 2/8


Audubon's letters and journals; photocopies of publications annotated by Shuler

Letters of Audubon ed. by Corning, 1826-1840 3/1

Journal of Audubon ed. by Corning, 1820-1821 3/2

Journal of Audubon ed. by Corning, 1840-1843 3/3


Misc. information re Bachman

Articles by and about Bachman 4/1

Information from files at St. John's Lutheran Church 4/2

Research notes by Shuler Misc. research notes 4/3

Notebooks and journals of research trips to New York and Kentucky 4/4


John Bachman by C. L. Bachman; extensively annotated by Shuler 5/1

Portraits of Bachman 5/2

Portraits of Audubon 5/3

Misc. publications (brochures, articles, etc.) 5/4

Misc. correspondence re research 5/5

Files on the publication of Had I the Wings

Editorial correspondence 5/6

Permissions needed for publication 5/7

Dust jacket, publicity, etc. 5/8

Reviews 5/9


Drafts of the text of Had I the Wings (typescripts)

Unedited complete draft 6/1

Edited complete draft 6/2

Copy-edited complete draft 6/3

"Cutting room floor" (footnotes and other material omitted from text) 6/4


"Journal, August 23, 1979" (through 1983). Diary by Shuler recording his work on Had I the Wings 7/1

NOTEBOOKS, 1 -- 12

Tweleve notebooks of color slides (ca. 1950s -- 1980s) of naure scenes showing landscapes, flora and fauna, insects, reptiles, individual plants and animals, etc. with a few bearing labels identifying the date and species photographed. Some of the images were published in The Nature of Beauty: Martha and Jay Shuler (2003)