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Elizabeth Nesbitt Collection @ Pitt: Home

This guide identifies some of the 12,000+ resources available in the Nesbitt Collection. Comprised of children's literature and material related to the history of children and their books, collection items date from the 1600's through the present.

The Nesbitt Collection

The Nesbitt Collection is comprised primarily of children's literature and material related to the history of children and their books and media. The collection encompasses more than 12,000 items dating from the 1600's through the present day and incudes books, magazines, audio-visual material, manuscripts, artifacts, and more.

While many of the items are located within Hillman Library in Special Collections or Microforms, a number of items are housed in our Archives Service Center or our Storage Facility.  This research guide describes resources from the Nesbitt Collection and how to access materials from a variety of locations and in a variety of formats.

Margaret Hodges, Founder of the Elizabeth Nesbitt Room

We are indebted to Margaret Hodges, Professor Emeritus of the School of Information Sciences (now the iSchool), University of Pittsburgh, for the conception and development of the Elizabeth Nesbitt Room from 1976 through 1990.  A renowned author of more than 60 books, including Caldecott winner St. George and the Dragon, Peggy Hodges also served as storyteller, mentor, and advocate for children and their literature. 

She created and curated this collection of the literature of childhood which spans the centuries and features a range of materials from chapbooks, toy books, boardbooks and pop-ups to pulp fiction, juvenile periodicals, and hardcover items.

Professor Hodges continued to support this collection with her knowledge of and connections to the field of children's literature until her death in December of 2005.  A longer biography can be found from the Literature Resource Center as well as in the PDF below written by Nichole Lavelle.

Guide Content

This guide is maintained by the Children's Literature Librarian, Clare Withers.  Content was also created by undergraduate students as part of Archival Scholars Research Awards: Child Authored Content--Stephanie Liang; Black Arts Movement--Corinna Andriescu.

The Inside Story of the Elizabeth Nesbitt Room

The following is a transcript of a speech given on May 10,1991 by Mrs. Margaret Hodges on the occasion of the Elizabeth Nesbitt Room Celebration.

Accessing the Collection

Many of the Nesbitt collection materials are held in the Special Collections Department at the University of Pittsburgh's Hillman Library.  For questions about the collection, be sure to visit the Special Collections Website or email the department.

Nesbitt items are also located in the University Library System's storage facility.  To request an item from storage:

  1. Perform a PittCat search
  2. Select the record you would like to request
  3. Select "Request Item" under "Get It"
  4. Sign in with your Pitt username and password
  5. Choose your preferred pickup location
  6. Select "Send Request"

Complete and submit your request.  You’ll get a screen message when your request has been successfully submitted.  You’ll receive an email notification when the book is on campus to let you know when it will be available for pick up or viewing in a designated area.