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Miniature Books on Display
April 5–30, 2001

Although there is common agreement that miniature books have existed since the beginning of book history, in the form of tiny cuneiform tablets and parchment manuscripts that could fit into a nutshell, there is no consensus today about just how to define a miniature book. The Library of Congress generously includes books up to 4" in height, while other collectors accept nothing over 2 " or 3" as miniature. These volumes have been prized for their compactness but also and, perhaps especially, for their craftsmanship that has been required in their creation.

Among the earliest printed miniature volumes from the Incunabula period (pre-1500) are the Diurnale Morguntium (1486) by Peter Schoeffer and the Officium Beatae Virginis Mariae (1475) by Nicole Jenson. The creation of miniature books has continued up to the present time. Contemporary artists have produced beautiful and whimsical volumes which celebrate the smallness of the works while exhibiting the artists' ingenuity and craft. With few exceptions, the volumes in this exhibition are recent creations from a wide variety of artists and they are representative of book miniature books and the 20th century private press movement.

You Are Old, Father William, 1989; Sunny's Flowers, 2000; An Imperfect Solution, 1997

The items in the exhibit were generously lent by a local collector. The exhibit is curated by Ruth Copans, Humanities/Special Collections Librarian, Lucy Scribner Library, Skidmore College and mounted by Dorothy Christiansen, Head of the M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University at Albany Libraries. All are invited to view the exhibit which will be on display from April 5 - 30, 2001 on the Garden Level of the University at Albany's Science Library.

Gemological Parmacopeia, 1983; Embroideries of Mary Queen of Scots, 1990;
Dreams of Ten Nights, 1987

The exhibit is divided into the following sections:


Exhibit Curated by Ruth Copans, Humanities/Special Collections Librarian, Lucy Scribner Library, Skidmore College and mounted by Dorothy Christiansen, Head of the M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives
Digital Exhibit by Dorothy Christiansen, Head
HTML by Brian Keough, Curator of Manuscripts
M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University at Albany, SUNY
Comments to the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives Staff

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