Charles Dessalines D’Orbigny (1806 - 1876) a French naturalist, botanist, geologist and illustrator was born into a family of naturalists and explorers, the most well known being his older brother Alcide, a noted zoologist and paleontologist.

The Dictionnaire Universel d’Histoire Naturelle, published in Paris by Renard & Martinet in 1849, was edited by Charles D’Orbigny and is considered one of the best illustrated encylopedias of natural history. It consisted of 3 volumes and contained 288 hand colored engravings. The publication was typical of the books of this period, featuring highly detailed and scientifically accurate illustrations that appealed to both the academic and the general public. Topics included mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants.  The prints include no text, however the order, genus, and species is on each, both in Latin and French.