Monday, August 6, 2012

Miniature Books-Lindemann Collection

This was one of the first projects I worked on went I arrived at the Library in 2009 although I am just now getting around to posting about it, thanks to some recent interest on a list serv.

Miniature books are a very popular collectable in the world of books, and when you see a collection like our McGehee Lindemann Miniature Book Collection it is not hard to understand why, these books are absolutely charming.  However, they do present many challenges in terms of shelving, marking and handling.  

First of all, they're tiny.  Some more tiny than others, see in the picture below the little yellow and green book in the plastic box.  

The small and variable sizes mean that the books can easily shift and fall over on the shelf or one book can get lost behind the others.  Some of the books are made of delicate cloth or are quite old so it is important to have them in a box that can take the wear and tear of handling.  We use microfiche boxes that are big enough to accommodate most sizes and also have enough room for a little padding with archival tissue.  The trip back and forth to the reading room isn't that bumpy, but why take chances with so many unique books?

Inventory control is also important and so each book is tagged with its own mini barcode.  The 'fiche boxes have enough height to accommodate the rare book tags, although when an individual book is requested, the whole box is delivered to the reading room.

This last picture may not seem so exciting, but if you are a librarian, preservation officer or conservator and  know in that your 15,000+ collection of rare and unique miniature books is this well organized and this well cared-for, you can rest so much more easily at night.



bugheart said...

don't we get to see
inside the mini books?
i am not a librarian
a well organized and
packaged collection
is one of my
favorite things.

Anonymous said...

Nice post! I recently purchased a single miniature book - any advice on how to store / care for it? Thanks!