Thursday, February 23, 2017

Strange, funny, weird? What kind of “other” collections do libraries have?

Watching a recent news broadcast on television, my attention was drawn to an insert about a miniature book collection. This sparked my interest because sometime in my past, I was an avid collector of miniature books. I did a search on google and located miniature book collections in quite a few libraries.

In the United States, a miniature book is usually considered to be one which is no more than three inches in height, width, or thickness. Some aficionados collect slightly larger books while others specialize in even smaller sizes. Outside of the United States, books up to four inches are often considered miniature.

At the University of North Texas Willis Library, you will find a miniature book collection that now includes nearly 3,000 items.

In America there is even a society for collectors of miniature books that you can belong to.
Miniature books have a long history. Apparently it was first created by monks that have written on thin sheepskin sheets. Adolf Hitler published and used several illustrated miniature books during World War II.

 “Owing to the hard work that goes into producing every miniature book, they are at times quite expensive. However, the beauty and exclusivity of miniatures books appropriately compensates for its high-price. Then there are vintage miniatures books that are simply priceless because they have a legacy and historical importance tagged to them. “

Have a look at this library post that was advertised on 3 November 2016 at the University of Virginia in the USA:

“Miniature Book Collection Cataloger
The University of Virginia Library seeks a Miniature Book Collection Cataloger for its Metadata Creation & Organization (MCO) unit. The individual in this position will be responsible for assigning metadata for materials in the McGehee Miniature Book Collection. This unique collection comprises more than 16,000 titles in multiple languages covering a variety of subjects, of which approximately half are uncatalogued. This position will be responsible for original and copy cataloging of titles in this collection, and be responsible for creating metadata using standards such as Resource Description and Access (RDA), Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Library of Congress Rule Interpretations (LCRI), and Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (DCRM(B)). The employee in this position is expected to keep current with local practice for metadata creation, as well as stay informed of the general work of the Library.”

Look at these pictures of miniature books:

Do you know about any other strange, weird, or not ordinary things that is collected in libraries? Please share.

Links to information used: