The Charles Nisbet lectures are comprised of four bound volumes of notes taken by students of Nisbet's at Dickinson College between 1789 and 1793. Nisbet read his lectures slowly, expecting students to take verbatim accounts, and a close comparison of notes taken at his lectures on the history of philosophy in December, 1792, shows that they were able to keep the pace. The four volumes are:
1. Anonymous notes, beginning 1789 August 1, 577 pp. This book is organized in three sections: first, a sixteen-lecture series on classical education and classical authors, 140 pp.; second, a contents list for the first 94 pages of (third) the following 320 pages, an unbroken passage entitled "Criticism." The spine of the binding bears a red leather label, "Criticism."
2. Alexander Nisbet (1777-1857), 1792 December 14-1793. 240 pp. Sixty lectures on the history of philosophy. Alexander was the son of the lecturer.
3. Elias W. Hale. "Lectures on criticism," 1792 September-1793. 657 pp. The lectures beginning on page 400 are identical to those of Alexander Nisbet for the same dates.
4. Anonymous, undated, untitled. 328 pp., lacking pp. 1-6.