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Roger Tory Peterson

Born and raised in Jamestown, New York, Roger Tory Peterson became the premier artist-naturalist of his time. He is best known for his pioneering field guides. The first – A Field Guide to the Birds, published in 1934 – sparked a worldwide movement to connect people with nature as never before. Peterson authored and illustrated dozens of guides – for birds, plants, insects and other natural flora and fauna – selling millions of copies and becoming an international ambassador for protecting our natural resources.

The Institute

In 1984, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History was founded in Peterson’s hometown of Jamestown, New York to preserve his lifetime body of work. A decade later, the Institute cut the ribbon on its new home – a 23,000 square foot architectural gem, designed by Robert A.M. Stern. The building – nestled within 28 acres of wooded land that inspired the young Peterson to fall in love with the natural world – houses the largest, most comprehensive collection of Peterson’s artwork, photographs, films, manuscripts and related archival materials.

An Appeal From Our CEO

This is my first Spring Appeal for the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and I couldn’t be more excited. Nor more concerned. Yet hopeful. I imagine many of us are feeling a mix of emotions as we strive to navigate the uncertainties of the Covid crisis. The sad fact is, many organizations aren’t going to survive. My hope lies in you. With your help, we will survive. With your help, we will emerge from this stronger, better positioned to adapt to whatever the “new normal” may be. [more]