miniature book

Known as “Thumb Bibles,” these miniature books are abridged versions of the Bible, generally meant for children. The term “Thumb Bible” was first coined in the mid-19th century and may be a reference to Tom Thumb, a known public figure at the time. These books are also well-thumbed, though that is just coincidental.  #MiniatureMonday

Come see these and other books from our collection on display now in our main gallery as part of our current exhibition, The Living Book: New Perspections on Form and Function.

Michael Zinman Collection of Early American Children’s Books.


Hello, all my lovely followers! Long time no see! Sorry for the prolonged lack of original posts, but I’ve been crazy busy at my new job as Library Technician at Smithsonian Libraries (@smithsonianlibraries)! I’m working primarily at the Cullman Library in the Natural History Museum, which houses the Smithsonian’s special collections relating to natural history, although I’ve also spent some time at the Dibner Library, which is home to special collections relating to the physical sciences.

Although I’ve only been there for two months, I’ve had the opportunity to do and see some amazing things! From a shelving unit for miniature books to a well-loved 13th century Armenian manuscript (MSS 1675B), the Libraries are truly full of wonders great and small. One of my favorites is the volvelle, or rotating calculator, found in a 16th century alchemical manuscript (MSS 867B)– I just love it when books are interactive! Expect more from that one in the future.


Happy early birthday to me from @ocalicoqueen, who is too good to me and gave me something far too perfect. This miniature-loving, bibliophilic wanna-be mermaid is nostalgic and content.

ID #60512

Name: Berlyn
Age: 13
Country: USA

I like Broadway musicals mainly, but I also enjoy listening to other artists/bands like Halsey, Florence + The Machine, etc. Whenever a move based on a book comes out, I refuse to see that movie until I’ve finished the book(s) completely. Basically, if you enjoy music and books, then you automatically have a massive bonus! I can play guitar, piano and I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember.
I also enjoy plants and witchcraft, honestly, my room is full of miniature plants and herbs and crystals and… It gets messy pretty fast.

I wouldn’t mind exchanging snail mail (my handwriting isn’t the best and it really depends.) but email is fine as well. I only say snail mail because I would probably end up slipping some lyrics from my favorite songs/musicals in and other little things…

(Also my grammar isn’t the best so if you have a problem with that stuff then we probably wouldn’t make good pen pals… Just saying.) 

Preferences: I would mainly prefer a female who is around my age (so 13-15, I guess. But anyone under 18 who shares my preferences would be fine as well.)
Also don’t be sexist, racist, homophobic and we’ll be fine. 


Allow me to take a moment to loudly emote about the 8th wonder of the world that is the London International Antiquarian Book Fair. Hosted by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association in the National Hall Olympia, the only way I could begin to describe the wonder of it would be to compare it to a shopping mall of special collections.

It was absolutely amazing to see so many wonderful things in such a wonderful place, a selection of which can be seen above. It was also really useful in a research context to see sales and acquisitions policies of various libraries and collectors in action! I wish that I had the funds to acquire some of these things for my collection…