Miniature Association Books- Part II

In the first part of this article I reviewed five different categories of associations that I’ve identified. Today we’ll look at five more.

6. Books With Accompanying Notes

This is my absolute favorite category because this is where we get the most intimate look at the relationship. The accompanying must however, shed some light on the book to be considered here.
At 4 3/4 x 3 3/8 inches, this one doesn’t even qualify as an honorary miniature book but I’ve included it here because both the publisher and collector are important in miniature books,and I like it.

Not only is there a letter but the book is also inscribed with a cute note. This book with it’s corresponding letter is also the inspiration for “Book People”, available on the store page here.

Beau-Beau’s 123 was published by Kurbel Books with illustrations by E. Helene Sherman and layout by Robert Massmann. It came from the collection of Paige Thornton and and was personalized for her by REM.

This one’s fun in that not only is the book miniature but the note is as well, and the book has a second, personalized slipcover.

7. Autograph Books

Again, this is similar to type one books in that it’s a loose association, putting the book in the signer’s hands for but a brief moment. These can be fun though, and if you like to name drop, very handy.

Here are three examples from Booksby.


This is a keepsake from an early MBS conclave and belonged to long time collector/dealer, Paige Thornton. It has many of the biggest names in miniature books of the second half of the 20th century. I would have loved to be at this one.


This is my own book pin that I used to wear everywhere. It went with me to Conclave XXXII in Boston last year and I wish I could say it was my idea to have it signed but no, it was someone else’s suggestion. It has the signatures of many good friends who are also important in the miniature book world.


I know very little about this one but I like it because it’s so tiny. It’s 7/8 x 5/8 and has many signatures, all from the mid 70’s. It came from the Thornton collection also.

8. Holographic Author’s Drafts

I don’t know how common this is for miniature books (all my books started out in an 8 1/2 x 11 spiral notebook), but I do have one.


Here’s the author’s draft of “Scrimshaw”, written by Carolyn Grabhorn Orr, with the finished book. The draft was purchased from Mrs. Orr’s estate and the published book directly from Miriam.


The book was published in 1986 but notice the earlier date and different title in the draft, all in Carolyn’s own hand.


9. Printer’s Proofs / Dummy Books

Not so much an association as a curiosity, these were trial pieces to make sure everything was right and were never meant to see the light of day. One famous dummy book is St. Onge’s “The Jewish Religious Calendar”, a copy can be seen at the Huntington library.


This one is “Christmas Carols”, published by Kitemaug Press in 1982. It will need to be compared to a numbered copy to determine if there were changes between this impression and and the final product.


Where the limitation should be it has instead the word proof written.

10. One of a Kind Book

This is the last type of association book we’ll take a look at. This can be just about anything from a unique binding to an artist’s sketchbook.


This one is very cool because it fits into several different categories but the outstanding feature is its one-of-a-kind binding done by Massmann.


It has Bob’s bookplate, designed by Helene Sherman.


It has been signed by the publisher. Elsewhere it has been signed by the binder. It also has a note from REM to REM explaining the binding, and finally it has the wonderful, purple binding.


These are two sketch books done by Carolyn Orr in the early 1980’s.


Even the title pages are beautiful.


The first is completely full of pen & ink drawings. The second however has many amazing watercolors. Unfortunately, they are perfect bound doll house books and the glue is letting go.

So these are the ten categories of association books I’ve identified at Booksby. I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look at an exciting sub-genera of miniature books, and thank you for reading.

Please, I covet your comments and criticisms so leave some feedback!

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