Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History

311 Curtis Street, Jamestown, NY 14701 - United States





Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History was founded in Peterson’s hometown of Jamestown, New York, as an educational institution charged with preserving Peterson’s lifetime body of work and making it available to the world for educational purposes.
As the steward of Roger Tory Peterson’s legacy connects people with nature through art, education and science.


Roger Tory Peterson:
In the early 1900s, Jamestown, New York’s urban nature inspired young Roger Tory Peterson to pursue his celebrated career as a naturalist, nature artist and influential educator. Peterson brought the study of natural history to the people, in a time when this was the realm of academia only. Through his field guides, he opened the eyes of millions of everyday people to the beauty and intrinsic value of nature that exists in our backyards. Peterson’s contributions have educated generations about nature worldwide; the knowledge and passion that he shared helped spark the global modern-day environmental movement, and his legacy continues to inspire and inform to this day. The Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) regularly exhibits original works from the Peterson Collection, along with significant artifacts and memorabilia that highlight areas of Roger Tory Peterson’s life and work.

Ned Smith:
Now on view in RTPI’s galleries are breathtaking original works and artifacts from the collections of the Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art! E. Stanley “Ned” Smith was born Oct. 9, 1919 in Millersburg, Pa., a small town on the Susquehanna River north of Harrisburg. A self-trained artist and naturalist, in his 46-year career he created thousands of astonishingly accurate drawings and paintings of wildlife for books, magazines and other publications, as well as dozens of limited-edition prints. Smith created nearly 120 cover paintings for Pennsylvania Game News, the agency’s magazine, and in the 1960’s he began a monthly column he dubbed “Gone for the Day” that proved to be enduringly popular. The column ran for four years, and in 1971 was republished in book form. It remains in print, one of the classics of Pennsylvania nature writing.His freelance work included long-running columns, articles and illustrations in Sports Afield, National Wildlife, Pennsylvania Angler, South Carolina Wildlife, National Geographic and other magazines, and over the years he illustrated 14 books, including the Peterson Field Guide to Birds’ Nests by the noted naturalist Hal Harrison. For more information about the Ned Smith Center, please visit


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