I recently had the pleasure of attending my first Miniature Book Society Conclave, which was held August 28–31 in Princeton, NJ. The annual meeting, held in a different location each year, includes workshops, tours, auctions, a book swap meet, and the announcement of the annual traveling exhibition book competition winners.
The Miniature Book Society, or MBS, is an international non-profit organization chartered in 1983. Its purposes are to sustain an interest in all phases of miniature books and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information about miniature books.
What Is a Miniature Book?
In the United States, a miniature book is usually considered to be one which is no more than three inches in size — height, width or thickness. Outside of the United States, books up to four inches are collected as miniature books.
The Lilly Library and Miniature Books
The Lilly Library has been the legal repository of the archives of the Miniature Book Society since approximately 1996. The archive includes not only the files and records of the business activities transacted by the organization but also the entries and papers relating to the annual miniature book competition and traveling exhibition which is sponsored by the organization. You can read more about the Miniature Book Society mss. collection here.
In addition, the Lilly is home to the Ruth Adomeit collection of thousands of miniature books, as well as the reference materials, books, correspondence, articles, photographs, etc. which Mrs. Adomeit accumulated over a lifetime of collecting. These books were exhibited in 2001 and a selection of them can be seen in the online exhibition 4000 Years of Miniature Books. You can read more about the Ruth Adomeit mss. collection here.
The Lilly Library is always actively collecting miniature materials of all kinds and is interested in receiving non-duplicative miniature books and other related material. The MBS archive, as well as the Adomeit collection, is available for use in the Lilly Library Reading Room. As always, we welcome visits not only by those with a research need for the materials but also by members of the interested general public.
— Cherry Williams, Curator of Manuscripts