(28 October 2016) Mr. Pote Lee, Chairman of the iGroup (Asia Pacific) Ltd has donated to the National Library of China a copy of the 21st Century Edition of The Birds of America, a masterwork by the artist and ornithologist John James Audubon. The Birds of America has been hailed as a United States national treasure and counts among the 19th century’s greatest and most influential works. It is not only a valuable resource for the study of birds, but also a rare masterpiece of art. In 2010 a first edition of The Birds of America fetched £ 7,300,000 ($ 11,500,000) at auction making it one of the most expensive books in history.
iGroup worked with Dai Nippon Printing Company to reproduce this 21st Century Edition from an original copy of The Birds of America consisting of four volumes and 435 pages. An 80 megapixel camera photographed the images. It is printed on acid-free Japanese Takeo paper and took Japanese craftsman a few months to finish the printing and hand-made binding. The book is in Double Elephant Folio,100cm x 68cm wide and weighs more than 90 kg.
The donation ceremony was held 12 October 2016 in the National Library. Mr. Wang Dongbo, Assistant Director-General of the National Library of China, presided over the donation ceremony attended by colleagues from the NLC. Mr. Lee led a delegation from iGroup.