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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) – Among the University of Iowa Libraries’ special collection of some 4,000 miniature books, sits the smallest of the small.
“I think it’s just the indescribable appeal to really really tiny things,” said Patrick Olson, a Special Collections Librarian at the university.
The four millimeter book is so tiny it has to be picked up with tweezers, the print too minute to read with the naked eye.
“You bought it because it was the world’s tiniest book at the time, and that was the appeal,” Olson said.
The book had been donated to the university in the mid-1990’s but staff had little knowledge of the its origin or meaning.
After putting the book under microscope, staff discovered that the little piece of literature was printed with a much bigger purpose.
“It’s part of the Bible,” Olson said.
Staff discovered the book contained the first chapter of Genesis.
The book was traced back to the 1965 World’s Fair in New York, sold originally as a two-book set with an identical slightly larger Bible.
The miniature Bible, was meant to be worn on a necklace.
“It was pretty technical to do this kind of production, and I think it was very well done,” said Giselle Simon, Conservator with the University of Iowa Libraries.
With the discovery, the miniature Bible has been reunited with its slightly larger companion in the University of Iowa’s special collection.