Tiny Treasures: Miniature Books from Scotland and Beyond

Beggs, D. and Fimi, D. (2019) Tiny Treasures: Miniature Books from Scotland and Beyond. [Exhibitions]

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Abstract

There is a long tradition of miniature books, from tiny medieval illuminated manuscripts, to the Victorian and Edwardian craze for minuscule printed books. For most collectors, the size of a miniature book should be no more than 3 inches (76 mm) in height, though there are exceptions to this rule. Miniature books appeal to the human interest in extremes, but there is also a practical and artistic side to their allure. Most miniature books negotiate a fine line between the aesthetic and the utilitarian. They are eminently portable: their owners could carry a small library in their pockets, for study, pleasure, or religious devotion, in eras well before e-books and smart phones. Artistry and skill are equally important, and miniature books have been a prime way of showcasing craftsmanship in printing and design. These examples from the University of Glasgow Special Collections are representative of most miniature book collections: religious and classical. Half of them were published by Scottish printers (Glasgow and Edinburgh), while the rest were produced in England or France. Together, they offer a glimpse into the history of condensed elegance and efficiency.

Item Type:Exhibitions
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Fimi, Dr Dimitra
Authors: Beggs, D., and Fimi, D.
Subjects:Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
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