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Exhibition home · Lilly Library home

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Ruth E. Adomeit
Early manuscripts
Early Printed Books

Thumb Bibles
Miniature Libraries
Almanacs & Calendars

Near & Far East
Continental Europe in the 19th Century
Great Britain in the 19th Century
America in the 19th Century

20th Century Western Europe
20th Century Eastern Europe
Early 20th Century United States
Modern & Contemporary Presses
A Gallery of Books
James Weygand & the Indiana Kid

Miniature books, most of which are less than three inches tall and some of which are smaller than a penny, have delighted readers for centuries. Popular because they were easily carried or concealed, these historic books range from tiny "Thumb Bibles" to illustrated nursery rhymes. The earliest piece of block printing to which an accurate date can be ascribed--a Japanese wooden block print from about 770 AD--is a miniature scroll and part of the Lilly Library's collections.

More than 900 of the library's 16,000 miniatures were on display in the Library's Main Gallery from June 18 to September 15, 2001. This online exhibition pictures a selection of the miniatures displayed in the exhibition and reproduces the narrative text of the exhibition labels.

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