Beautiful Miniature Books – in Iowa! Atlas Obscura

This week the geography folks at Atlas Obscura featured another great book item in one of its daily mailings (You are receiving these, right?!). This one is about a collection of miniature books at the University of Iowa. – including a teeny, tiny book containing the Bible book of Genesis (see the image here).

Here is the first part of the story about this collection. Read the rest at the link below. And visit the entire collection at the UI link in the quotation below.

In 1896, the Salmin Brothers, a Padua-based publishing company, produced Galileo a Madama Cristina de Lorena (Galileo’s Letter to Christina). It had an embossed cover and slipcase, but it had another, exceptional feature: It was sized at just 0.7 by 0.4 inches. Within, the text is printed in “fly’s eye type,” which is so small that when the Salmin Brothers first used it, for Dante’s Divine Comedy, it reportedly damaged the eyesight of the typesetter. This time, it was used in a title about one-third the size of the previous example—the smallest book ever printed with hand-set, movable type.

Galileo’s tiny tome is just one of some 4,000 miniature books held at the University of Iowa, most of which were gifted to the institution from a single collection. The donor, Charlotte M. Smith, was an avid collector of rare books, but as volumes began to overwhelm her bookshelves, she turned to miniatures. Her first purchase was a 3.75-inch-tall edition of Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit From St. Nicholas (more commonly known by its opening line, “‘Twas the the night before Christmas … ”).

Source: Beautiful Miniature Books That Are Worth Sacrificing Your Eyesight For – Atlas Obscura

Published in: on June 2, 2017 at 6:28 AM  Leave a Comment