National Library Week: Christina Amato, The Monumental World of Miniature Books
Clearly, miniature books are small. For many, they are merely a curious, albeit adorable, footnote in book history. For some, they are baffling, seemingly designed to frustrate the farsighted and stymie the butterfingered. For many more, they are endlessly fascinating treasures. Many are marvels of craftsmanship that invite intimate perusal and reward close attention.
To add to their appeal, miniature books have a colorful history. They have served as showpieces of printers and bookbinders’ skills, sometimes with tragic results, and as elaborate examples of monarchs’ wealth. Their inherent portability and concealability have made them ideal vessels for propaganda, subversive ideas, and titillating tales. They have been cleverly employed for stories both for and by children, and have provided solace as personal prayer books. Not to mention that a miniature book has been to the moon.
Christina Amato has worked as the book conservator at the New York Society Library since 2016. She holds a Diploma of Bookbinding from the North Bennet Street School in Boston and has worked in many prestigious conservation labs for the past ten years. She is also an award-winning creator of miniature books, which she writes, illustrates, and binds in her free time.
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