In 1815, French naturalist and artist Charles Alexandre Lesueur (1778-1846) joined geologist William Maclure on an expedition to the West Indies to collect specimens and make notes and drawings. Lesueur stayed in the Americas for 21 years, including eight years in Philadelphia, 1817-25, and twelve years at New Harmony, 1825-37. This collection contains microfilm of Lesueur's American sketchbooks, including drawings of Philadelphia, New Harmony, New Orleans, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and the Caribbean.
In 1956, the Illinois Historical Survey acquired five reels of this microfilm from the American Phlosophical Society, and earlier, one reel from the American Antiquarian Society. Many frames are blank or faded. Lesueur's work itself is at the Museum d'histoire naturelle du Havre, and was published in 12 parts (1984-2005).