John Bull Library

John Bull Library by Bob Rohr

The John Bull Library was officially inaugurated in June 2011. The Library is home to famed ornithologist John Bull’s (1914-2006) collection of more than 700 birding and natural history books and four original paintings by Roger Tory Peterson, Don Eckelberry, Walter Feguson, and Don Malick. The paintings served as illustrations in John Bull’s Birds of New York State, the first exhaustive survey of the State’s birds since the early 1900s.

John Bull was a noted field researcher and self-taught ornithologist that worked for the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Ornithology. John Bull was among the first researchers to observe the destructive effect of habitat fragmentation on birds, suggest a milder climate was allowing southern species of birds to move into our area, and to record shifts in migration due to climate change.

His widow, Edith Hellman Bull (1913-2016), donated the collection to Bedford Audubon in 2010. Edith was an accomplished naturalist who worked in the Vertebrate Paleontology Department at the Museum of Natural History and co-authored several books with her husband.

John Bull Library at the Bedford Audubon Society

John Bull Library at the Bedford Audubon Society

Visit the John Bull Library

The John Bull Library is open and free to Bedford Audubon’s members and the natural sciences community for research.
The Library is open by appointment, please call (914) 232-1999 to schedule a time to explore this special collection.


  1. From Route 35 take Route 22 North towards Goldens Bridge.
  2. Todd Road will be your 4th right.
  3. Bylane Farm is located about a half mile down the road, where the road surface changes from dirt to pavement.
  4. Look for a small historic white sign on the left side of the road.
  5. There’s a small gravel lot just past the building.
  6. An entrance to meet with Staff is located at the top of the stone steps that begin to the left of the garage.
  7. For all other purposes, please enter through the Leon Levy Native Garden and ring the bell at the front door.

Bedford Audubon Society