Guide to the John A. Nietz Papers UA.90.F95

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
John A. Nietz Papers
Creator
Nietz, John A. (John Alfred), 1888-
Collection Number
UA.90.F95
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1931-1960
Date [inclusive]
1800-1970
Extent
18.55 linear feet (19 boxes)
Abstract
John A. Nietz was a professor in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh from 1926 to his retirement in 1958 and was renowned for his collection of old school textbooks.

Preferred Citation

John A. Nietz Papers, 1800-1970, UA.90.F95, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

John A. Nietz was a professor in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh from 1926 to his retirement in 1958 and was renowned for his research on the history of education and his collection of old school textbooks.

Nietz was born near Toledo, Ohio, in 1888. He earned an A.B. degree at Ohio Northern University in 1914, a M.A. at Ohio State University in 1919, and a Ph.D. in Education at the University of Chicago in 1933. During his stay at the University of Chicago, Nietz studied under the famous philosopher and educational theorist, John Dewey.

Nietz was married to Ruby K. Nietz, who died in 1953, and was the father of Martha Nietz (Stoops). He later married Florence Metcalf Nietz. Nietz held several positions prior to his appointment at Pitt including a teacher at Wood County, Ohio, public schools, Superintendent at Maumee, Ohio, and Perrysburg, Ohio, public schools and Dean of the Murphy Collegiate Institute in Sevierville, Tennessee.

His research interests were many and included the history of public education, school administration, international education and old school textbooks. When he retired in 1958, he founded the Nietz Old Textbook Collection by donating his 9,000 volume library of early primary and secondary school texts to the library of the University of Pittsburgh. He had acquired the texts to demonstrate the history of teaching in the early years of the United States. During his career, Dr. Nietz directed or advised over 30 dissertations and master's theses based upon the collection. Dr. Nietz died in 1970.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains the papers of John A. Nietz, a professor in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Much of the collection deals with Nietz' correspondence with students and educators and with the acquisition of the Nietz Old Textbook Collection. In addition there are research files both for his teaching career as well as his scholarly publications. Included is also correspondence about the following organizations, Pennsylvania Association for Adult Education; Pennsylvania State Education Association; Pittsburgh Council on Intercultural Education and Phi Delta Kappa.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into nine series:

Series I. Professional Correspondence

Series II. Personal Correspondence

Series III. Book Correspondence

Series IV. Manuscripts, Drafts, Articles, Chapters and Notes

Series V. Research Files

Series VI. Teaching Materials

Series VII. Personal Materials

Series VIII. Photographs

Series IX. Artifacts

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, May 2014

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Custodial History

The Nietz Papers were housed in the Special Collections department until their transfer to the University Archives in 2013.

Acquisition Information

Gift of John A. Nietz in 1958.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Marianne Kasica from September 2013-May 2014. Prior organization was done while the collection was housed in the Special Collections Department.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of selected textbooks from the 19th Century Schoolbooks Collection are available electronically at http://digital.library.pitt.edu/nietz/.

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Related Materials

Separated Material

Master's Thesis: Development of Public Secondary Education in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Edith R. Wilkinson was transferred to  University of Pittsburgh Student Manuscripts Collection UA 90.9.22-T

Manuscript: University Extension by C. Stanton Belfour was transferred to the University Archives Personal Files under Belfour, C. Stanton.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • University of Pittsburgh. School of Education. -- Faculty

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts (Document genre)
  • Photographs
  • Syllabi

Personal Name(s)

  • Morgan, Gilbert, 1791-1875 -- Speeches
  • Nietz, John A. (John Alfred), 1888-

Subject(s)

  • Education -- United States -- History
  • Faculty papers
  • Textbooks -- United States -- Collectors and collecting
  • University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Professional Correspondence 

Scope and Content Notes

This series features the professional correspondence of John Nietz. Most of these letters deal with teaching at the University, oversight of dissertations, teacher training and evaluations, and job placement for graduates of Pittsburgh as well as other universities. The letters during the war years, 1940-1949, reflect correspondence about studies interrupted by military service.

  BoxFolder
 1922-1926 11
  Folder
 1927-1929 2-4
  Folder
 1930-1939 5-14
  Folder
 1940-1944 15-24
  BoxFolder
 1945-1949 21-11
  Folder
 1950-1958 12-27
  BoxFolder
 1959-1960 31-2
  Folder
 1961-1962 3
  Folder
1963-1964 4
  Folder
 1965-1969 5
  Folder
 1972-1973 6
  Folder
Undated 7-10

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Series  II. Personal Correspondence 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains correspondence that is of a more personal nature to family members and close friends. It is possible that there is some correspondence with people who were personal friends as well as colleagues.

  BoxFolder
 1929-1935 311
  Folder
1936-1939 12
  Folder
 1939-1940 13
  Folder
 1941-1945 14
  Folder
1946-1950 15
  Folder
 1951-1955 16
  Folder
 1956-1960 17
  Folder
 1961-1965 18
  Folder
 1966-1970 19
  Folder
 Undated 20

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Series  III. Book Correspondence 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains correspondence on the acquisition of the Old Textbook collection. While Nietz had a substantial collection of early text books from 1922-1929, the acquisition activity increases in the 1930's and 1940's and then tapers off in the 1950's.

  BoxFolder
 1931-1939 321-28
  Folder
 1940-1945 29-34
  BoxFolder
 1946-1949 41-4
  Folder
 1950-1955 5-10
  Folder
 1956-1960 11-15
  Folder
 1961-1965 16
  Folder
 1966-1970 17
  Folder
 1971-1980 18

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Series  IV. Manuscripts, Drafts, Articles, Chapters and Notes 

Scope and Content Notes

This series has manuscripts and drafts of various writings that Nietz wrote or shared authorship of. Often files are partial chapters and some remain unidentified.

  BoxFolder
Old Textbooks 419-25
  BoxFolder
Old Textbooks 51-2
  Folder
Old Secondary School Textbooks 3-5
  Folder
Evolution of Old Secondary School Textbooks Flyers and Dust Jacket 5a
  Folder
Textbooks McGuffy Didn't Write 6
  Folder
Old Secondary School Grammar Textbooks 7
  Folder
History or Women's Clubs in America 8
  Folder
Adult Education 9
  Folder
A Gift of Old School Textbooks 10
  Folder
Beginnings of the Idea of Educational Administration 11
  Folder
Evolution of American School Textbooks 12
  Folder
Evolution of American Arithmetic Textbooks 13
  Folder
Early Education in Pittsburgh 14
  Folder
Agricultural Extension Education 15
  Folder
Development of Correspondence Education in the United States 16
  Folder
Methodism on the Headwaters of the Ohio 17
  Folder
Education of Adult Prisoners 18
  Folder
Experiences of a Book Collector 19
  Folder
Development of Reading Textbooks 20
  Folder
Kingdom of the Mind 21
  Folder
Nietz Old Book Collection 22
  Folder
History of Reform Jewish Education in America 23
  Folder
More Students Taking Science and Mathematics 24
  Folder
Schools of Western Europe 25
  Folder
Secondary Education 26
  Folder
Guiding Principles in Teaching the Social Studies 27
  Folder
Development of Physiology Textbooks 28
  Folder
Europe: Post World War II Education 29-29a
  Folder
A Philosophy of Education for Pennsylvania 30
  Folder
Education in Pennsylvania 31
  Folder
Good Citizenship Education 32
  Folder
Education and National Defense 33
  Folder
European Schools (Published Interview) 34
  Folder
More High School Students Taking Basic Subjects (Criticism) 35
  Folder
Most Popular American Histories 36
  Folder
University of Pittsburgh Historical Writings 37

Includes two essays: "Early Pitt Head an Pioneer in Professional Education" (about Gilbert Morgan), "Origin and Development of the University of Pittsburgh" and a report for the School of Education.

  BoxFolder
History of Education 61-3a
  Folder
History of Education in Pennsylvania 4
  Folder
Forward Look for Teacher Training Institutions 5
  Folder
History of Education in the U.S. 6
  Folder
Assorted Histories Manuscript Chapters 7
  Folder
Values and Objectives in Teaching Education (partial) 8
  Folder
Visual Aids in Teaching Social Studies 9
  Folder
Why Do Textbooks Get Bigger? 10
  Folder
Why the Longevity of the McGuffy Reader? 11
  Folder
Workers' Education 12
  Folder
Evolution of the Teaching of Civil Government in the U.S. 13
  Folder
Story of Theater in America 14
  Folder
Student Life in Schools of the Ohio Valley Ninety Years Ago, 1940 15
  Folder
Some Findings of Old Textbook Analyses 16
  Folder
Manuscripts on Consumers' Education, Academic Freedom, Language Arts, New England Academies 17
  Folder
Terms in History of Education 18
  Folder
Book Reviews 1954 18a

Beginnings of Bucknell University;  Cultural History of Western Education and  Development of Standards in Secondary and Higher Education

  BoxFolder
Nietz Textbook Collection typescript 151
  BoxFolder
American School Board Journal issues with Nietz Articles 1921-1930 171

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Series  V. Research Files 

Scope and Content Notes

Nietz' research interests were varied but include public school administration, history of education in the U.S. and abroad, non traditional education such as correspondence schools or prison education and testing methods. Nietz travelled in Europe and met with ministers of education to collect information about educational systems there. It was difficult to determine Research Files versus Teaching Files in some cases so there will be some overlap between this and the next series, Teaching Files.

  BoxFolder
Research in Adult Education 619-23a

Includes Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh

  Folder
Poster of Public Education in the U.S., 1947 24
  Folder
American Youth Commission 25
  Folder
California Test Bureau, Aptitude and Other Test Information 26-30
  BoxFolder
California Test Bureau, Samples of Tests 71
  Folder
California Test Bureau, Reports and Reviews 2-3
  Folder
Cambridge University Booklets, 1955 4
  Folder
C.H. Stoelting Co. 5
  Folder
Citizenship 6
  Folder
Civilian Conservation Corps 7
  Folder
Comparative Education 8
  Folder
Correspondence Courses 9
  Folder
Wesley Barnes Derrick Memorial Booklet 10
  Folder
Early American Textbooks 11
  Folder
Educational Books, 1947-1951 12
  Folder
Educational Test Bureau 13
  Folder
Education and National Defense, 1940-1941 14
  Folder
Education in Argentina 15
  Folder
Education in Austria 16
  Folder
Education in Bolivia 17
  Folder
Education in Bulgaria, School Certificate, 1922 18
  Folder
Education in Chile 19
  Folder
Education in China, 1935-1955 20
  Folder
Education in Denmark 21
  Folder
Education in Ecuador 22
  Folder
Education in Egypt, 1036-1950 23
  Folder
Education in Estonia, 1926 24
  Folder
Education in France 25-26
  Folder
Education in Germany 27
  Folder
Education in Hungary, Teachers Diploma, 1920 28
  Folder
Education in India, 1954-1955 29
  Folder
Education in Isarel and Palestine, 1948-1955 30
  Folder
Education in Italy 31
  Folder
Education in Japan, 1943-1956 32-33
  BoxFolder
Education in Latin America, 1936-1950 81
  Folder
Education in the Netherlands, 1954-1955 2
  Folder
Edcuation in Norway, 1940-1955 3
  Folder
Education in Panama, 1939-1948 4
  Folder
Education in Poland, 1921-1947 5
  Folder
Education in Romania, Diploma, 1919 6
  Folder
Education in Russia 7
  Folder
Education in Sweden 8
  Folder
Education in Switzerland, 1948-1956 9
  Folder
Education in Taiwan, 1953 10
  Folder
Education in Thailand, 1948 11
  Folder
Education in Turkey, 1952-1954 12
  Folder
Education in the United Kingdom, 1890-1956 13
  Folder
History of Education in New York 14
  Folder
Illinios Pamplets, 1944 15
  Folder
Educational Serials, 1949-1953 16
  Folder
Aptitude Test Brochures 17
  Folder
Posters, 1959 18

United States in Facts and  World in Facts.

  Folder
General Electric Company Education and Training Brochures, 1947-1949 19
  Folder
Report Cards 20
  Folder
History of Education Chart, 1939 21
  Folder
History of Education Society Membership Lists, 1962-1968 22
  Folder
Pennsylvania, 22-23
  Folder
Pittsburgh 24
  Folder
Irene Kaufmann Settlement Memorabilia 25
  Folder
West Virginia 26
  Folder
United States 27
  BoxFolder
Mathematics 91
  Folder
Joseph Ray, Mathematician 2
  Folder
Intergroup Relations, Pittsburg Workshop, 1945 3
  Folder
M.A.I.N. Test 4
  Folder
William Holmes McGuffey 5
  Folder
Drawing and Lettering Excercises 6
  Folder
Teaching Certificates, Maine, 1869, 1874 7
  Folder
Teaching Supplies Advertisments 9
  Folder
Essay: Pay Your Teacher 9
  Folder
Philosophy of Voice 10
  Folder
Flyer, Plumbcreek Normal School, 1874 11
  Folder
Primary Spelling Lessons 12
  Folder
Creative Problem Solving, 1059-1960 13
  Folder
Parent Teacher Association, 1940-1956 14
  Folder
Reading exams 15
  Folder
Religion and Education, 16-17
  Folder
Educational Research 18
  Folder
Methods of Research in Education 19
  Folder
School and Society Articles 20
  Folder
School Life Articles 21
  Folder
School Work Assignments, 1890, 1910 22
  Folder
Sign Language Poster, France and U.S. 23
  Folder
Standardized Monthly Curriculum Tests 24
  Folder
Posters, State Child Labor and Compulsory School Attendance, 1926 25
  Folder
Study of Diagnostic and Remedial Procedures in a Reading Clinic Laboratory School, by Marjorie Seddon Johnson 26
  Folder
Test Service Brochures 27
  Folder
Impact of War on Education, 1943 28
  Folder
American Theater 29
  Folder
Menace of the Movies, ca 1930 30
  Folder
Psychological Corporation Test Catalogs, 1956-1960, 1970 30
  Folder
Pitt Related Items 31

To the Secondary Teacher, Summer Courses for secondary school teachers at Pitt, 1937.

  Folder
Vocabulary and Reading 32
  Folder
Education of Women 33
  Folder
Connellsville Baptist Female Sewing Society Secretary's Book, 1849 34
  Folder
Picturesque B & O Railroad Brochure 34
  Folder
University of Chicago 35
  Folder
World Book Company Test Brochures 36
  Folder
William B. Johnson 37
  Folder
Hobby Club of Pittsburgh, Constitution, 1941 38
  Folder
University of London 39
  Folder
Phi Delta Kappa, Xi Chapter, University of Pittsburgh, 1926-1932 40
  Folder
Kappa Phi Kappa, 1927-1929 41

Books and Booklets on Education Research 

  BoxFolder
Education in Panama 101
  Folder
Education in Pennsylvania 2
  Folder
Education in Poland 3
  Folder
Education in Spain 4
  Folder
Education in Sweden 5
  Folder
Education in the Dominican Republic 6
  Folder
Education in the Netherlands 7
  Folder
Education in Turkey 8
  Folder
International Correspondece Schools 9
  Folder
Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius) 10
  Folder
Moonlight School Study, 1917-1918 11
  Folder
National Home Study Manual and Directory, 1947, 1952 12
  Folder
Rhythm Reading 13
  Folder
The Delineator, a Journal of Fashion, Culture and Fine Arts, January 1894 14
  Folder
Reviews in Educational Forum 15
  Folder
Pennsylvania Railroad Training, 1949 16
  Folder
United Steelworkers of America training manual, 1947 17
  Folder
Westinghouse Electric Company education programs, 1948-1949 18
  Folder
Education in Cuba 19
  Folder
Education in Cuba 20
  Folder
Edcuation in India 21
  Folder
Education in Japan 22
  Folder
Education in Norway 23
  Folder
Adult Education 24
  Folder
Workbook with inscription: W.E. Masoner 25
  BoxFolder
Education Journal issues 1829, 1839 137

Curiosities 

Scope and Content Notes

This section contains a variety of unusual items related to education.

  BoxFolder
Multiplicatiom Table, 1857 111
  Folder
Paper Currency, 1862-1864 2
  Folder
Aprobation Tokens, 1866 3
  Folder
Lancaster County Bank Checks 4
  Folder
Lottery Tickets, 1927-1834 5
  Folder
Reward of Merit 6
  Folder
E.P. Carpenter Organ Warranty, 1883 7
  Folder
Knitting Instructions 8
  Folder
Elements of Logic by H. Coppee, 1857 9
  Folder
Mary Carlton Nash Mathematics Journals, 1825, 1827 10
  Folder
Thaddeus Stevens Speech Against the Repeal of Public Education, 1835 11
  Folder
Report on Public Instruction in Pennsylvania, by Rev. Gilbert Morgan, 1836 12
  Folder
Guidance Series, KDKA School of the Air, Let's Find a Vocation, October 11, 1945 13
  Folder
New German Text Copies, 1808 14
  Folder
Stamps 15
  Folder
Notes, Bills of Sale, Ribbons, etc 1800's 16
  Folder
Revolving Interest Table, A.F. Osterloh, 1840 17
  Folder
I.L. Robison Sales Book, 1860 18
  Folder
Victor Frankel compsition Books, 1922-1923 19
  BoxFolder
Clarke's Cotton Nursery Rhymes 134
  Folder
English Primer, ca 1800's 5
  Folder
Arithmetic Journal, 1823 6

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Series  VI. Teaching Materials 

Scope and Content Notes

This series includes materials that might have been used for teaching of his classes as well as examples and research from other people.

  BoxFolder
Outlines and Readings 1120-27
  Folder
Examination and Dissertation Materials 28-29
  Folder
Information on the School of Education and Classes 30-33
  BoxFolder
Reports, Policies and Data about the School of Education 121-5
  Folder
Dissertation Committees 6
  Folder
Comparative Education 7
  Folder
Adult Education 8
  Folder
History of Education 9
  Folder
Educational Administration 10
  Folder
Vocational Education 12
  Folder
National Survey of the Education of Teachers form, 1931-1932 13
  Folder
History of Education 14
  Folder
Eleventh Grade Teaching Units 15
  Folder
Educational Sociology 16
  Folder
Graduate Level Courses and Syllabi 17-18
  Folder
Examination Forms 19
  Folder
General Education 20
  Folder
School of Education Requirements and Guidelines 21-21a
  Folder
History of Education to 1400 22
  Folder
History of American Education 23
  Folder
School of Education Fields and Problems for Investigation, Suggested by Members of the Faculty, 1932 24
  BoxFolder
Elementary Chemistry Block Unit Plan, Pittsburgh Public Schools, 1928 138

Curricula and Syllabi Developed by Chester A. Buckner 

  BoxFolder
Interests and Abilities of Pupils, 1941 1225
  Folder
Program for Measurements in Secondary Schools, 1941 26
  Folder
Curriculum Materials: Planning Areas of Instruction, 27
  Folder
Organization of Materials for High School Pupils, 28
  Folder
High School Administration, part 1-2, 1936 29-30
  Folder
Extra-Curricular Activities in Secondayr Schools, 1940 31

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Series  VII. Personal Materials 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains some files on various organizations that Nietz belonged to or had some interest in. In addition there are some of his speaking engagements, some materials on his daughter Martha and his composition books from the University of Chicago.

  BoxFolder
Pittsburgh Council on Intercultural Education, 1944-1960 1214-19

Minutes, reports and other documents of the organization during Nietz' time as a member.

  Folder
Speaking Engagements 20
  Folder
Membership Cards 21
  Folder
Committee on International Affairs Research 22
  Folder
World War Two and Misc. 23
  Folder
Bibliography 24
  Folder
Martha Nietz 25
  BoxFolder
Composition Books 181-24

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Series  VIII. Photographs 

Scope and Content Notes

The photographs are primarily of Nietz' professional and research interests. There is one file of family photos. The file called Assorted Photographs may possibly have family members as well as others.

  BoxFolder
Oversized Photographs of Book Collecting 142
  Folder
Early American Textbooks 3-4
  Folder
Early Chemistry Textbooks, American 5
  Folder
Pittsburgh School District, Schools Past and Present Exhibit 6
  Folder
Moses Roy 7
  Folder
Nietz Family 8
  Folder
Assorted Photographs 9

McGuffy Memorial; Synn Family; Chart of Early Land Titles; Iatoollah a Hooshmail; Unidentifiled Girl; Higher Education in Poland

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Series  IX. Artifacts 

Scope and Content Notes

Over the course of his professional and personal life Nietz collected various artifacts dealing with education. Some items in this series, while interesting, seem unrelated to his interests.

  BoxFolder
Johannes Marzall mathematics journal, 1796 161
  Folder
Mary Kreider Herbarium 2
  Folder
Gulliver's Travels, English Classic Series, no. 60 1892 3
  Folder
Letter: Joseph Ray Family, 1938 4
  Folder
German postcards, bookplates and other 5
  Folder
Excerpt from Concise History of U.S. by John McCulloch 1797 6
  Folder
Pupil's Homework, ca 1870 7
  Folder
Letter from Nicholas Pike to Mr. Price, 1790 8
  Folder
Tuition Payment for John Dalton by Michael Walsh, 1804 8
  Folder
Psalter Leaf, 1210 9
  Folder
Missal Leaf, 1480 10
  Folder
Sheet music, ca 1400 11
  Folder
Arithmetic Excercise Book of Elizabeth Jane McDowell, 1831 12
  Folder
Tabula abcdariae pueriles, title page, 1544 (1549) 13
  Folder
Illuminated text, unknown origin 14
  Folder
Brooks's Reader title page, 1906 15
  Folder
Dictionary page, 1482 16
  Folder
Hammond Gazette (Point Lookout, MD) 1:42, September 1, 1863 17
  Folder
Clippings, Religious Education and McGuffy Readers 18
  Folder
Feria Quinta, Feria Sextus, 1551? 19-19a
  Folder
Old School Books Exhibit Boards 20
  Folder
Education in Great Britain Exhibit Placards 20
  Folder
A Short Introduction to Grammer Plackard 21
  BoxItem
Bricks from Samuel Reed Hall's Normal School in Concord Vermont, 1823 171
  Item
Joseph Ray's Writing Slate, 1788 2
  Item
Writing Slate (20x29 cm) 3
  Item
Horn Book in Case 4
  Item
St. Paul's Hornbook, 1729 5
  Item
Early School Bell 6
  Item
Countertop Bell 7
  Item
Sierra Leone Kissi (pennies) 8
  Item
McGuffy Reader Ceramic Ornament 9
  Item
Samuel Pepys Faux Book 10

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