Ruth E. Adomeit|
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Twentieth Century Eastern Europe
Although miniature books had been published in Eastern Europe prior to the era of Marx and Lenin, it was during the Communist era that a golden age of miniature book production occurred in several East European countries. During part of the twentieth Century, Hungary was the leading producer of miniature books in the world, and substantial production of miniatures also occurred in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. The Communist influence had two very important effects. State supported publishers were able to issue books which otherwise could never have been published commercially. However, political considerations also influenced what was published, with a large number of political works appearing alongside exquisitely designed, printed, and bound volumes of national literature, history and art. Translations of world literature, and bilingual or multilingual editions are also characteristic of twentieth century East European miniatures. Miniature editions in two sizes, miniature and very miniature also occur, often in conjunction with a standard-sized edition. Fine illustrations are yet another feature associated with Hungarian miniature books of the twentieth century.
No mention of Hungarian miniature books is complete without acknowledging the huge role played by Gyula Janka in the Hungarian miniature book world. He is noted as an author and collector, and his Miniatur Könyvek Bibliográfiája (Bibliography of Miniature Books) 1945-1970 and supplements through 1976, together with his other writings on the subject, are the basis for collecting Hungarian miniatures.