St. Louis native Julian Edison began collecting miniature books as a student at Harvard University after his wife, Hope Edison, gifted him a miniature set of The Plays of Shakespeare printed in 1825.
To be considered a miniature, a book needs to be less than three inches or less in any dimension, with some much smaller than that. Miniature books serve as both talismans and practical references that can be carried with you at all times.
Today, Washington University’s Julian and Hope Edison Collection of miniature books includes over 3,500 miniature books in various languages, reference books, great works of literature, religious works, and books with unique bindings. The collection is currently being cataloged.