The Charlotte M. Smith Collection of Miniature Books

The Charlotte M. Smith Collection of Miniature BooksThe Charlotte M. Smith Collection, a gift to the Libraries in 1996, currently numbers some 4,000 volumes. The books are less than 3″ tall or wide — and most are smaller in both dimensions. Principally collected by Charlotte M. Smith (1919-2002) of Newton, Iowa, the books range in date from the 17th century to the present. The range of subjects is equally broad, but many of the books concern, as well as demonstrate, arts of the book. The collection was exhibited in 1996 and that exhibition has been preserved virtually as Tiny Tomes. Mrs. Smith also wrote two articles for Books at Iowa: “The Joys of Miniature Books” and “The Tamazunchale Press: A Bibliographic Checklist.”¬†Finally, Mrs. Smith’s papers and the records of the Tamazunchale Press form msc0457¬†the link leads to the finding aid for that collection.

Books in the Smith Collection are in the process of being cataloged and classified in the Libraries’ catalog, InfoHawk+. As of October 2018, roughly 80% of the collection, including recent acquisitions, was included in that system. Searching the catalog using the subject heading “miniature books” will bring up the majority of titles.

Please note that the inventory on this website was last updated in 2010. While it includes some titles that have not yet been cataloged, it does not include anything acquired since then.

For presentation here, the collection has been sub-divided into United States Miniature Books and Non-United States Miniature Books. The United States titles, in turn, have been divided into pre-Twentieth Century and Twentieth Century and later imprints. The Twentieth Century books produced by fine and other personal presses and publishers have been organized by press or publisher as described in Robert C. Bradbury’s Twentieth Century United States Miniature Books (No. Clarendon, Vermont: The Microbibliophile, 2000), while books produced by companies, corporations, and organizations, often for advertising purposes, have been given their own page.

Descriptions for U.S. items published before 1901 have been checked against Robert C. Bradbury’s Antique United States Miniature Books 1690-1900 (No. Clarendon, Vermont: The Microbibliophile, 2001).

United States Miniature Books

Published before 1901

Published in 1901 or later

20th Century Books Published by Companies, Organizations and Commerical Presses
The non-United States miniature books have been sub-divided geographically by country and then by press or publisher.

Miniature Books Published in Countries Other Than the United States

Objects and Realia

Miniature book-related artifacts and objects — photographic albums, calendars, flip and view books, lockets, key rings, etc. — have been gathered here for description.

Flip Books

Photographic Albums and View Books

Diaries, Appointment Books, Calendars

Miniature Book-related Objects