Ladybug-Sized Book Read Under A Microscope

Geo Beats
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The University of Iowa’s Special Collections Library and University Archives library has cleared the mystery surrounding one of its miniature books.

The University of Iowa’s Special Collections Library and University Archives library has cleared the mystery surrounding one of its miniature books.

For years, people have wondered about the contents of the tiny book, which measures only 0.138 inches wide and tall and just 0.04 inches thick.

That’s about the size of a ladybug.

The library’s conservator suggested that they use its new microscope to check out the inside writing.

It worked, but doing so was no easy task, reportedly taking several hands to properly situate the tiny tome.

They discovered that it contained excerpts from the first book of the Bible, Genesis. But, that was only part of the book’s story.

Among the information revealed by the microscopic analysis was the publisher’s imprint. A librarian used that to cobble together the micro mini’s history.

She discovered that the book was published in 1965 and marketed as the world’s smallest book, a record that has since been beat.

In its original packaging it was kept in a small case with an attachment so it could be worn as a charm. It was sold with an accompanying book, significantly larger but still really small.

Both books were in the library’s possession but had been separated. Since the discovery, the two books have been reunited.

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