Monday, October 21, 2013 - Saturday, December 21, 2013

Miniature Books: Then and Now

Some Great Little Books


  • Location: Library
  • Time: All Day
  • Sponsor: Library
Interior Scene from My Imperfect Solution by book designer Joe D'Ambrosio

Special Collections, Occidental College Library

Did you know that the first miniature book as we know it today was created in 1496 by Peter Schoffer, assistant to printer Johann Gutenberg? Early printers often had their apprentices make miniature books in order to test their skill at using small typefaces.  Until the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and 19th centuries, miniature books were primarily a work of convenience, designed for adults to slip into a pocket or strap to a girdle, or as a more accessible size for children.  After the Industrial Revolution, paper became easier to make and books became easier to bind.  As a result, miniature books were printed increasingly for novelty’s sake. Creating miniature books today is also a book art form explored by artists and artisans in fine printing and binding. This exhibition, drawn from the Miniature Books in the Special Collections Dept, offers a look at the diverse types of these small books produced during the past 200 years.

Location: 3rd Floor Study Area, New Wing, Library

Visit the online edition of Miniature Books: Then & Now

Exhibitions researched and designed by Jessica Low, Class of 2007
2007-2008 Library Fellow, Mellon Librarian Recruitment Program
Photo: Interior Scene from My Imperfect Solution by book designer Joe D'Ambrosio