When you hold a miniature book in your hand, it is like holding a jewel. A miniature book is usually no bigger than three inches (76 millimeters) tall, and although some need magnification to be viewed properly, most can be read with the naked eye. Dating as far back as 2500 BCE, Sumerian clay tablets with cuneiform writing are considered the prototype for miniature books. During the first centuries of printing, miniature books presented challenges to apprentices in the printing trades. Exercises in setting small types and binding diminutive volumes were instrumental in learning the profession. In more recent times, artists, designer bookbinders, fine letterpress printers, and hand papermakers have employed their skills to develop the miniature book as an art form.
Miniature books cover the range of human endeavor in literature, theology, politics, art, leisure activities, children's stories, and even taboo subjects. At Bromer Booksellers, we assist in the building of miniature-book collections, from miniature versions of the classics to miniatures about cats and cookery. We were the first to commission designer bookbindings on miniature books, which resulted in our award winning catalog, Thirty-Five Miniature Books in Designer Bindings. In addition, we have published fourteen distinguished miniature books, issued numerous catalogues on the subject, and purchased the collections of leading collectors, including Stanley Marcus, Francis Dunn, Lotar Stahlecker, and Rabbi Kalman Levitan. As leading specialists in the field, we are interested in all aspects of miniature books, but particularly favor early printed, specially bound, and rare examples. To view a full list of the miniature books we have in stock, go here.
Anne Bromer and Julian Edison have written the first popularized history on the subject of miniature books. Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures contains over 260 full-color illustrations and is the most comprehensive exploration of miniature books to date. The book has been published by Harry N. Abrams in association with The Grolier Club of New York.
"Why Miniature Books?" the featured article in the September issue of Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine was written by Anne Bromer. You can view an online version of the article here.
Anne Bromer's "gloriously illustrated" book, Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures, was included with our miniature Emancipation Proclamation in the article "Put it in a Sock: Plenty of ways to stuff a stocking" by Patricia Marx, published in The New Yorker on December 14, 2009.