Volume XXXV, Number 6, Issue Number 204, November, 2016
The Greatest Time of the Year, Family and Friends
Cool morning with a touch of frost on the roofs has announced the passing of the Summer, the arrival of Fall, and the winter months ahead of us. I built my first fire in the woodstove about the 20th of October. The changing of the seasons is always a joy, and the smell of the kindling taking fire with the crackle of the oak wood is something to which I look forward. Strange as it may seem, it is a good time to practice a bit of reflection and set forth what the coming cold weather months will bring. There is always a long list of indoors projects at our house that are best suited for the winter. Then there is also the planning for the holidays, family and friends, one of the joys in life.
Our November issue of The Microbibliophile is the closing issue of 2016 and provides a wrap-up for our 2016 look at booksellers as well as a peek into the upcoming year of 2017. As I look at the world of miniature books both from the perspective of collecting and book publishing there are many things to talk about and hopefully move forward with. One of the most important components of collecting is being able to recognize the future and as such, we have to address the wants and needs of ‘young bibliophiles’. Children and our younger generations are our most important assets. As such, The Microbibliophile will present, during 2017, an ongoing list of contributions focused on ‘The Young Bibliophile’ both in the hardcopy journal as well as this website.
Additionally, Plum Park Press has provided two exciting new titles for review in this issue as well as Msgr. Weber’s latest book and new publisher miniature book. Nina Mazzo continues her journey through the LXIVMOS and Sherry Mayo tells us a story about an old man with a white beard. Todd Sommerfeld reports on a few items ‘Not In Bradbury’ and Mr. Robert Hanson takes us back in time to the ‘Book Collectors Packet’ and Black Cat Press. Read on!
Please share The Microbibliophile with a friend, we all like to share and talking about miniature books is our passion. Diversity is the key to success both for our readers as well as our contributors. My children and grandchildren all live in New Jersey and we have Sunday dinner each week together. The Sunday dinner table is where you really learn about your family and friends; their history, hopes and worries, stories, jokes, and personalities. It is a joy to see everyone grow, especially through their own words. I think of The Microbibliophile as a ‘Sunday dinner’ that we have six times a year. One large family where many cooks prepare the meal without fail, enjoyed by all, and all are welcome. It is the opportunity before us to learn more about each other. Who can foresee what sparkle can shine forth from your eyes with the turning of a page of a book. I am always looking for articles and information, for the Sunday dinner. Please look at your bookshelves, there most certainly is a story there that you will want to share. Thank you for the opportunity to bring The Microbibliophile into your life.
A Bimonthly Journal about Miniature Books and the Book Arts
Robert F. Hanson, Founder, 1977
Table of Contents
|Book Reviews and Criticism:|
|Knots, Bends, and Splices, by Captain J. Netherclift Jutsum, published by Plum Park Press||05|
|Baskerville Virgil, by John Baskerville, ‘Georgics’, by Virgil, published by Plum Park Press||06|
|The Feast of the Nativity, by Francis J. Weber, published by El Camino Real Press||07|
|Field Guide To Home, by Camden Richards, published by Liminal Press||08|
|Additional Cover Photo Books||10|
|A Bookseller’s Reflections, by Michael Garbett||10|
|Obituary, Bob Fleck||11|
|Not In Bradbury, by Todd Sommerfeld||12|
|Visiting With Some Old Friends During the Holidays||14|
|Another Christmas Visit, The Lilliputter Press||16|
|A Tribute To Norman Forgue and the Black Cat Press, by Robert F. Orr Hanson||17|
|Antiquarian Delights, ‘A Miniature Almanack, 1824’||19|
|Books That Are Out of the Box, The Royal Barges of Siam, published by Pequeňo Press||21|
|Christmas Echo, by Gail Curry||22|
|‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’, A collection of one favorite title||24|
|The Young Bibliophiles||26|
|Outreach Activities And Young Bibliophiles||28|
|Some Little Notes About Little Books||30|
|Time Machine, LXIVMOS, Number 7, by Nina Mazzo||32|
|Sonnets of Unhappiness, reviewed by Dr. Martin Žnideršiš||38|
|Research Books, An Updated List||43|
|Bookshelves, A Visit to the NYPL, by Msgr. Francis Weber||35|
|MBS Exhibit and Start the Presses||31|
|Meet The Publisher, Miyako Akai||33|
|Terms and Definitions, ‘Multum In Parvo’||34|
|Some Interesting Book Stuff, Information Sharing and Book Links||37|
|The January/February 2017 Frontispiece||45|
“Ever The Bibliophile”, by Sherry Mayo
It is nearly dawn on the twenty-fifth of December and the moon is slipping beyond the horizon as it gives way to the glow of the rising sun. A quiet snow has dusted the windowpanes with winter’s frosty lace while the warmth of hot cocoa, a flannel throw, and the reading of a favorite story have lulled the old man to sleep.
He slumbers peacefully in a large, comfy, over-stuffed chair surrounded by a plethora of books penned by generations of poets and authors. The old man’s life-long position of ‘employment’ has allowed him the opportunity to amass a marvelous collection of unique and original books from all corners of the world.
If one were to peruse his collection, one would note that each is skillfully crafted with many bound in odd bits of paper or cloth. However, there are a few bound in a leather so supple it is luscious to touch. The disparity in covers offers the visitor a visual hint into the origins and customs of its creator.
Yet, as wondrous a visual feast each cover may provide to the onlookers eyes, it often belies both the magnificent and the oft-mundane stories trapped inside. Each carefully designed cover concealing the text of a story just waiting to be released by a vivid imagination. Still, for the old man, it matters little if the cover design or story is of grand proportion or a juvenile endeavor because he is enthralled with the ‘back-story’. He always asks the author about the inspiration that brought the creation to ‘life’. It is that story that endears the tome and garners it a special place in his library.
The old man firmly believes in the power and joys of sharing, so his library is not a pompous collection but a humble extension of his belief. Therefore, the use of a few commercially produced ‘coffee-table’ editions as an ‘end-table’ for his discarded cocoa cup is quite natural. Meanwhile, as the old man enjoys a well-deserved snooze after a night of exhaustive travel, we, the onlookers, can observe the two conflicting symbols of his seasonal job – the Christmas tree hovering protectively over the lowly manger.
So while the old man, Nicholas, slumbers away the hours with ‘visions of sugar-plums dancing in his head’ and thoughts about his globe-trotting world tour in 2017, the staff of The Microbibliophile wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year!
THE YOUNG BIBLIOPHILES,
Reported by Jim Brogan:
I am sure you have noticed the changes that are slowly becoming more apparent in the world of collecting and more specifically in the world of miniature books. The demographics of collectors are changing along with the value and time that people place on their collecting activities. The world moves at a faster pace than it has previously and hopefully the joys of publishing, collecting, and self-expression will continue to evolve with society. In years past, many people grew through their adolescence into adulthood embracing collections, with no difference if it was a marble collection or a book collection. The activity is a learning as well as a teaching experience that requires a certain discipline, interaction with others, and provides self-satisfaction for the collector.
For the most part the children of today’s generations generally do not see the value and benefits of ‘collecting’ as previous generations may have. The following three articles provide some interesting thoughts and observations on the future of ‘young bibliophiles’.
The Next Generation, ‘Dude, Where’s My Connoisseur’
Update On “Dude, Where’s My Connoisseur”
Outreach Activities and Young Bibliophiles
Please read them with a vision toward the future and share your thoughts and ideas. I have spoken many times about the journey through the world of miniature books, let us think of what we need to ‘hold up the lantern’ and guide the future generations into the world of miniature books.
OUTREACH ACTIVITIES AND YOUNG BIBLIOPHILES,
Reported by Jim Brogan:
Sometimes when we look at the sky, we see gray clouds and feel somewhat depressed by the possible coming weather. Please remember that gray clouds always give way to the bright sunshine and the puffy big clouds that inspire us to dream and move forward. That is the way I feel about the world of miniature books. When I have an opportunity to speak with people about collecting and the joy miniature books can bring, I can see the sparkles in their eyes. Children and young people have a different perspective about miniature books; they seem to see them as a ‘personal extension’ of themselves. Show a child a ‘blank book’ and they will immediately ask if they can add a story to the pages. Show them a handmade book or pamphlet and they will ask if you can show them how to make one for themselves. Their stories can range across the spectrum of subjects from adventures, to special events, or even a trip to the zoo. That is not to say that each child is a ‘publisher in training’ but the message is clear. Young people like to express themselves and share their experiences. Once cultivated they may be the best teachers to share the skill with another person.
We, as experienced collectors and publishers have to be able to see the needs of others and be willing to open our doors and let young people and their families into our world. At the Miniature Book Society Conclave this past August we were captivated by the ‘learning and teaching adventures’ of the Creativity Caravan [Maya and Amy] as they traveled across the United States with their books and art tools. All along the way, they helped people young and old to express themselves through the writing and creation of books. Young people are the focus of the message but I think a key ingredient to the recipe is the family. Children generally work best in group environments where they can share and exchange ideas and their work.
The MBS has other outreach tools in place such as their traveling exhibits, the annual book competition, and most recently their Student Assistance Grants. Each of these tools has a slightly different target audience but they are all outreach tools intended to expand the world of miniature books.
What new ideas have you thought about, please share them. Sometimes the smallest seeds bring forth blooms that are beyond your wildest expectations. One quick idea is the use of ‘blank books’, such as those offered by Booksby Press, www.booksbypress.com, a miniature with maybe 50 pages, all blank that can be utilized to fulfill the enjoyment in any number of creatives ways; handwritten text, hand drawn illustrations, cut-out ‘glued in’ images. All are the beginnings of books and book arts, for the young and nearly young to express themselves and to bring joy into the world of another.
RESEARCH BOOKS, AN UPDATED LIST:
By Jim Brogan
People are always asking the question, ‘where can I find the answer to my question(s) about miniature books?’ Here is my 2016, ‘end of the year’ updated list:
Antique United States Miniature Books 1690 – 1900, Robert C. Bradbury, 2001, published by The Microbibliophile, Jon Mayo, North Clarendon, Vermont
Twentieth Century United States Miniature Books, Robert C. Bradbury, 2000, published by The Microbibliophile, Jon Mayo, North Clarendon, Vermont
Catalogue of the Library of Miniature Books Collected by Percy Edwin Spielman, Percy Edwin Spielman 1961, Edward Arnold, London, also available as a reprint, 1992, Maurizio Martino Publisher, Storrs-Manfield, CT
The History of Miniature Books, Doris V. Welsh, 1987, Fort Orange Press, Albany, NY
A Bibliography of Miniature Books, compiled by Doris Varner Welsh, 1989, published by Kathryn I. Rickard
ABC For Book Collectors, 9th edition, John Carter and Nicolas Barker, 2016, Oak Knoll Press, London
Miniature Books 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures, A. C. Bromer and J. I. Edison, 2007, published by Abrams, New York (available as a miniature as well as a regular sized edition)
Miniature Books, Louis W. Bondy, 1981 Sheppard Press, London
The Miniature Book Collector, 1960-1962, Achille J. St. Onge, Publisher, Ruth Adomeit, Editor Worcester, MA
The News-Letter of the LXIVMOS, 1927–1929, James D. Henderson, Brookline, MA (reprint available)
Forty Years Later, A concise review of the St. Onge Bibliomidgets, by Robert E. Massmann, 1976
The Bibliomidgets of Achille J. St. Onge, by Robert E. Massmann, 1979, ‘REM Miniatures’
Encyclopedia of the Book, by Geoffrey Ashall, Oak Knoll Press, 1979
Principles of Bibliographical Description, by Fredson Bowers, Princeton University Press, 1949
The St. Onge Bibliography, Additional Titles, New Information, and Fascinating Conflicts, by Robert E. Massmann, MBS Newsletter, October 1993, Miniature Book Society
Collecting St. Onge Miniature Books, by Robert C. Bradbury, ‘The Microbibliophile’, Volume XXVI, Nbr. 6
An Illustrated Bibliography of Miniature Books Published By David Bryce and Son, complied by M. Garbett, 2014.
Fine Books and Collections magazine
Biblio Magazine, printed between 1996 and 1999
Miniature Book News, Julian I. Edison, Editor, published with the Miniature Book Society Newsletter
Miniature Book Society Newsletter, (available via the website //mbs.org and digital.library.unt.edu)
If you have a favorite research book that has provided you with answers and I have not listed it, please send me the title, publisher, and author. People who collect dictionaries and research books are a ‘special group’, who resemble ‘magnets’, always pulling more matter into their universe.
Hope you like the expanded digital content that was part of the published November-December 2016 issue.