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Course & Subject Guides

Elizabeth Nesbitt Collection @ Pitt: Isaiah Thomas

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.

Selected Bibliography

Listed below are selected Isaiah Thomas titles with links to their PittCat records.

Additional Web Resources

Many works of Isaiah Thomas are available from the Hathi Trust digital library.  To access this collection from Pitt's databases page, select the Hathi Trust Link and search by Thomas, Isaiah.

Additional websites about Isaiah Thomas are Listed below:

Isaiah Thomas Paintings by D. W. RothThis page has images of paintings by D. W. Roth depicting Isaiah Thomas printing the revolutionary paper, The Massachusetts Spy.

A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible:  Part of the American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Imagination Web site.

Isaiah Thomas Collection

Isaiah Thomas published and sold books for children, as well as books, newspapers, and magazines for adults.  He was also founder of the American Antiquarian Society.

One of Thomas' greatest contributions to children's literature was introducing John Newbery's books to the United States; although Thomas' loose interpretation of the copyright laws bothered Jonathan Edwards, and Newbery was never paid.  Thomas acquired several Newbery chapbooks in 1779 and republished them in America. Newbery's materials were much more appealing and entertaining than other children's literature of the time.

The financial success of these items led Thomas to publish his own children's titles, the first of which was The Beauty and the Monster. A Comedy. From the French of Count de Genlis. Original publications did not take over his presses, however. His first edition of Mother Goose's Melody appeared in 1785, and he also published such children's standards from England as Robinson Crusoe and Goody Two-Shoes. These children's books brought money and recognition to the business, but Thomas poured more pride and effort into his Bible publishing.

Text by: Sarah H. Becking, Updated by Leslie Poljak

Accessing the Collection

Many books by Isaiah Thomas will be located in ULS Storage. 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. Select your preferred pickup location
  6. Select "Send Request"

You will get a screen message when your request has been successfully submitted.  You will receive an email notification when the book is on campus to let you know when it will be available for pick up.