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WATCH: UC Librarian’s Miniature Book Featured In International Exhibit


The miniature book is among 40 creations by American artists to be featured in an exhibit organized by the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Date: 3/30/2010 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823

UC ingot  
It’s a tiny work of art that is getting world attention. A miniature book, created by CCM Head Librarian Mark Palkovic, is featured in a contemporary art exhibit organized by the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan. The exhibit, “Art in Small Packages: Miniature Artist Books from America,” features Palkovic’s designed and handmade miniature book, “The First Published Account of the Wright Brothers’ Flight.” The book is on permanent display in Baku’s Miniature Book Museum.

One of only 55 copies created by Palkovic, the book was published in 2006 and is two inches high and about an inch-and-a-half wide. “It’s very readable,” says Palkovic. “You don’t even need a magnifying glass.”

Palkovic created the layout, typesetting, printing and binding of an article detailing the first powered flight of the Wright brothers in Huffman Prairie, Ohio, back in 1904. The article was written by a witness who joined them on that adventure, Amos Ives Root, who often contributed articles to the publication “Scientific American.”

But Palkovic says “Scientific American” turned this submission down. “They thought it was a little too preposterous,” explains Palkovic. Root still got the article published. The beekeeper owned his own publication, “Gleanings in Bee Culture Magazine, so that’s where his account of the Wright brothers’ flight was first reported. The family-owned A.I. Root Company is located in Medina, Ohio, and is a leading manufacturer of liturgical and scented candles, as well as beekeeping supplies.

Palkovic’s book holds an introduction he wrote about Root’s relationship with the Wright brothers, and also features a foreword from their great grand-niece, Amanda Wright Lane, who lives in Wyoming, Ohio.

Palkovic is president of the Miniature Book Society, a non-profit organization formed in 1983 that now has members from around the world. The organization is planning its annual conclave in Lexington, Ky., over Labor Day weekend.

A passionate miniature book collector, Palkovic also owns a copy of the current world’s smallest book, Chekhov’s “Chameleon,” and as a result is listed in Guinness World Records. The book measures just .9 by .9 millimeters, not much larger than a grain of salt.

UC’s Archives and Rare Books Library houses a rich collection of miniature books. The books from the Kalman L. Levitan collection include flip books, prayer books and a chained Bible that was printed in Scotland. Levitan was founder of the Miniature Book Society. Following his death in 2002, his wife, a UC alumna, donated part of his miniature book collection to UC Libraries.