A book conceived on a very small scale, measuring no more than
three inches along its greatest dimension (height or width), usually
printed in 6-point type or smaller and illustrated on the same scale.
Not uncommon, miniature books include Bibles, almanacs, poetry,
classics, juvenile literature, tokens, etc. Click here to see a page
from a 20th-century miniature atlas (Kansas State University
Libraries). Very tiny books, such as those used in doll houses, are
usually produced photographically. Of interest to collectors,
miniature books have an enthusiastic following in the United States.
Click here to see a set of 18th-century Dutch miniature books in
deluxe binding (Koninklijke Bibliotheek). An online exhibition of
Miniature Books is provided by the Cushing Memorial Library, Texas A&M
University. See also 4000 Years of Miniature Books (Lilly Library,
Indiana University). For more information, see the Web site maintained
by the Miniature Book Society. See also: miniature edition, miniature
library, and necklace book.
An edition of a book in which the copies are of very small size
(three inches or less in height and width), usually printed in 6-point
type or smaller and illustrated on the same scale. Synonymous with
lilliput edition and microscopic edition. See also: miniature book.
In 1800, the English publisher John Marshall issued the first of
several series of miniature children's books in glazed paper bindings.
Each series included as many as 16 separate titles of diminutive size
encased in a small wooden box with a lid to which an engraved paper
label was pasted and an ornamental pediment added to give the
impression of a glass-fronted bookcase. The text in each volume,
usually didactic in intent, served to draw the reader's attention to
details of the illustration on the facing page. The concept was
imitated by other publishers of children's literature in the early
19th century. For examples, see the online exhibition Miniature
Libraries from the Children's Books Collections, courtesy of the
National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In
modern publishing, the term is sometimes applied to a set of
children's books sold as a single unit, often encased in a gift box,
slipcase, or other container (example: The Dr. Seuss Miniature Library
published by Collins in 2004).
A small miniature book, usually containing blank leaves covered in
leather or metal, made to be worn about the neck as a pendant
suspended from a chain, ribbon, or thong, sometimes as a piece of
jewelry. To see examples, try a keywords search on the term "necklace
book" in Google Image Search.