Placed end to end, the University Libraries’ miniature book collection would barely cover the width of a study table. But the tiny tomes pack a wallop of history and a ton of printing expertise.
The Special Collections Department recently added Addresses of Abraham Lincoln, which measures a whopping 0.875 inches high by 0.625 inches wide. The volume—one of the tiniest in UT’s collection—was a gift from library staff member Tina Bentrup.
The book was published in 1929 by Kingsport Press in Kingsport, Tennessee, where many of the miniature books in Special Collections were produced.
Printing in miniature is technically challenging, and miniature books were often produced to display the capabilities of printers. The pint-sized publications sometimes provided the medium for sensitive subject matter because they could be easily concealed.