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  • arnobernoarno
    http://library.wustl.edu/offtheshelf/OTSfinal.pdf best greetings ;-) Arno March 27, 2008 Miniature book collection opens at Olin Library Miniature book
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2008

      best greetings ;-)

      March 27, 2008 > Miniature book collection opens at Olin Library

      Miniature book collection opens at Olin Library

      By Jessica Daues

      Throughout history, people have been fascinated by extremes, whether
      it's the tallest mountain, the longest river or the deepest sea.

      Julian I. Edison is no exception — only instead of things large, it's
      small books that fascinate him.
      Miniature book collection
      Photo by David Kilper
      Miniature books have served many purposes, from political propaganda
      to curiosities.

      Edison, a member of the University Libraries' National Council and a
      noted miniature book collector, is displaying approximately 200 of his
      volumes in the exhibition "Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny
      Treasures," which opened at Olin Library's Department of Special
      Collections March 17.

      The exhibition is free and open to the public and closes June 6.

      Among the books featured are:

      • The first book on contraception;

      • Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, first published in book
      form as a miniature;

      • "Facts about the Candidate," which was distributed during Theodore
      Roosevelt's presidential campaign;

      • A copy of a miniature book astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin brought to
      the moon in 1969;

      • A Japanese prayer scroll from 770 A.D., which is the oldest-known
      text printing on paper;

      • The smallest book ever printed with movable type. This book —
      containing a letter by Galileo on science and religion — is less than
      one inch in height, composed of 200 pages and printed in 1896. "The
      type font was so tiny that the work was said to have seriously injured
      the eyesight of both the compositor and corrector," Edison said. "It
      took one month just to set and print 30 pages. That book is the
      greatest marvel in miniature book publishing."

      Many of the items displayed at the Olin Library exhibition were taken
      from an earlier showing of Edison's books at the Grolier Club in New
      York City. Both exhibitions displayed just a part of Edison's collection.

      Many of his books were featured in a book he co-wrote with Anne C.
      Bromer, which shares the same title as the exhibition and is available
      at the campus bookstore.

      Miniature books have served many purposes throughout history,
      according to Edison. Their small size makes them perfect for the hands
      of children. Their portability made them useful as political
      propaganda, dictionaries, religious books and almanacs. Beautifully
      illustrated miniature books have been created for aesthetic purposes,
      and others were made to amaze as curiosities.

      The books may have different purposes, but they have one feature in
      common: For a book to be considered miniature in the United States, it
      must measure no bigger than 3 inches by 3 inches. The books are so
      small that the library had to make special cradles to display them.

      Edison, who has served as the editor of Miniature Book News for more
      than 40 years, first became interested in miniature books in 1960
      after his wife gave him a miniature nine-volume set of Shakespeare's
      complete works on their first wedding anniversary. They were the first
      miniature books Edison had ever seen, and he was intrigued.

      His quest for more such small books during the past half-century has
      taken him to auction houses, book fairs and flea markets around the globe.

      Edison, who will receive the Dean's Medal from Shirley K. Baker, vice
      chancellor for scholarly resources and dean of University Libraries,
      in a ceremony April 2 at Olin Library, is hesitant to name a favorite
      among his collection.

      "They're like grandchildren," said Edison, who has two grandkids
      himself. "They are all my favorites."

      For more information on the exhibit or the Department of Special
      Collections' hours, please call 935-5495 or visit library.wustl.edu.
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