Cary Library exhibit to showcase contributions of Isaiah Thomas

Exhibit complements ceremony honoring recipient of RIT’s Isaiah Thomas Award

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This portrait of Isaiah Thomas comes from the publication, The History of Printing In America, published in Worcester, Mass., in 1810.

Mark Mikolajczyk, president and publisher of Florida Today, will be honored with RIT’s Isaiah Thomas Award recognizing his outstanding contributions to the publishing industry. The awards ceremony is at 10 a.m. April 21 in Webb Auditorium. As part of the ceremony, Mikolajczyk, a 1983 RIT graduate, will present “Isaiah Thomas to Jon Stewart: Has the Mission of News Really Changed?”

So who was Isaiah Thomas? To learn more about this great American patriot printer and view his work, RIT’s Cary Library will host a companion exhibit showcasing some of Thomas’ publications. The exhibit runs from April 19 through April 30 inside the Cary Collection, second floor of the Wallace Center.

In 1779, Thomas established The Massachusetts Spy at a print shop known as “the sedition factory” by the British colonial government. A copy of The Massachusetts Spy will be part of the exhibit.

“We want to give a flavor of Thomas’ typography and provide some scope of his publishing interests,” says David Pankow, curator of the Cary Library. “The American Antiquarian Society, a rare book library in Worcester, Mass., gave RIT a copy of the issue of The Spy that will be on view, in honor of the Isaiah Thomas Award. Known most familiarly to scholars as AAS, this library is considered one the best libraries in the world for the documentation of American printing, and was founded based on Thomas’ personal library.”

In 1810, Thomas wrote The History of Printing in America, regarded as the basic source of information on early American printing and publishing. RIT has two copies of this book and one will be part of the exhibit.

To see the exhibit, visit the Cary Collection during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.