Special Collections

The Charlotte M. Smith Collection of Miniature Books

Kurbel Books

Return to: 20th Century U. S. Imprints in the Smith Collection

The portion of this website in front of you brings together in preliminary fashion a variety of lists and descriptions for United States Miniature Books published during the Twentieth Century. The books have then 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). This page describes titles held by the University of Iowa Libraries for the press or publisher described below. The descriptions generally follow Bradbury’s format: Author. Title. Imprint (if it varies from the heading), date. Size in inches. Number of pages. Brief physical description. Illustrations note. Copy # of [##] copies.

Kurbel Books

Watertown, MA


Curran, Rev. Joseph L. A Brief Reign. Watertown, MA: Kurbel Books, 1983. 50 pp. 2″ x 2 5/16″. Design, Typography, Layout, and Binding by Robert E. Massmann. Calligraphy for Title Page, Frontispiece, Cover Illustration and Hand Coloring by E. Helene Sherman. Printed at Art Press. 73 of 250 Copies. Includes four illustrated Vatican Postage stamps bearing the portrait of Pope John Paul I. Hand-colored frontispiece with pure gold of the Pope’s coat-of-arms. Endpapers have papal decorations in black on white. Bound in cardinal red leatherette with a black and white pictorial cover label. A yellow ribbon book marker attached to a small Italian pewter medal bearing the likeness of the Pope on one side and the basilica of St. Peter on the other. In a white card stock slipcase and printed in an edition of 250 copies. B20th 1/829.

St. Francis of Assisi. Canticles of the Sun. Watertown, MA: Kurbel Books, 1984. 2 1/2 x 2 1/8″, [19]pp. Accordian fold, leatherette covered boards, paper slipcase.Illustrations by E. Helene Shereman. Number 18 of 150 copies B20th 2/2780.

Curran, Joseph. Vatican Peep. Watertown, MA: Kurbel Books, 1985. 2 9/16″ x 2″. Colophon: Design & Text: Joseph L. Curran. Art & Calligraphy: E. Helena Sherman. Hand Coloring: Eloise C. Massmann. Layout & Binding: Robert E. Massmann. 300 copies of which this is No. 043. With three Vatican stamps and small metal key (missing). In red wrappers and sleeve. B20th 3/832.

Sherman, E. Helene. Bears. Watertown, MA: Kurbel Books, 1988. 19 pp. 2 7/8″ x 2 3/8″. Bound in tan cloth over boards with the title stamped in brown on the spine. Text is printed on an accordian fold with four giant panda stamps and pen drawings. Panda stamps by China’s Han Meillin. Layout by Robert E. Massmann, and binding by Bela and Mariana Blau. B20th 8/2730.

Curran, Joseph L. Faberge. Watertown, MA: Kurbel Books, 1988. 38 pp. 2 7/8″ x 2 5/16″. Layout: Robert E. Massmann. Photography: S. W. Newbery and Petkin Pictorials Ltd., London Binding: Bela & Mariana Blau. Printed by Shea Bros., Inc. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Includes 13 full-page color photographs, accordian fold. Has cloth covers, in a slip case with a hand painted Easter egg. B20th 10/830.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. A Christmas Prayer. Watertown, MA: Kurbel Books, 1990. 2 2/8 scroll. #114 of 250 copies. Calligraphy in black by E. Helene Sherman. In a plastic tube. B20th 11/2813.

Curran, Joseph L. King Ludwig II. Watertown, MA: Kurbel Books, 1990. 46 pp. 2 7/8″ x 2 5/8″. Colophon: Covers: Bela & Mariana Blau. Stamp: Antonia Graschberger. Binding: Loretta Gentile & Gayle Roberts-Cullen. Printing: Newprint Offset, Inc. Newton, Massachusetts. 61/250. 48 French-fold pages printed in blue ink on white paper. Frontispiece is full-page color portrait of Ludwig. Contains a German postage stamp marking the centennial of the king’s birth. On verso is a full-page blue sketch of Neuswchanstein Castle housed in a plastic box. Bound in Japanese “multi section” style. Silk cloth covers with six-hole spine sewing. Front cover gilt-stamped with the outline of a swan. Marbled end papers. B20th 12/831.

1985 Conclave Record. Los Angeles, CA: Kurbel Books, 1985. B20th: Not listed.

Joint Keepsake of the Miniature Book Society, Conclave Seven. Cincinnati: Kurbel Books and REM Miniatures, 1989. 1 15/16″ x 1 ½”. Colophon: Design by Bob and Eloise Massman and Joseph Curran; typography by Joseph Curran, hand coloring by Eloise Massman. Drawings mostly by Ernest Massman and Helene Sherman. Layout and assembly by Robert E. Massman. In a red sleeve. B20th: Not listed.