Miniature Books

A miniature prayer book for the U.S. Catholic Collection measuring only 5 cm showed up in the Cataloging department this week. It is a 1937 souvenir for pilgrims to the famous basilica at Saint Anne de Beaupré, Quebec. It has prayers in English as well as the Vesper service in Latin.

Is it our smallest book? We had to find out.

The Rare Book collection has 5 cm book that is about – what else? – miniature books! In the Marian Library we found small treasures including a set of 8 cm Christmas books donated by John Stokes, Jr., and a 8.5 cm Oficio de N. Senora la Santissima Virgen Maria published in 1736, nearly 300 years ago.

The “smallest” title, however, goes to a jeweled 70-page illuminated Book of Hours in the Rare Books Collection. It measures just under 3 cm.

- Joan Milligan, Catalog and Metadata Specialist

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