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On exhibition at the John Winthrop House library this week is the finest collection of miniature books in the world, a possession of R. L. Henderson '34, which has been displayed at the New York and Boston public libraries.
The collection includes a volume bound in human skin, with the somewhat ironical title of "Little Poems for Little Folk." A removal of 20 square inches of skin from his back failed to impair the health of its donor, who is still alive and in the best of condition. Also contained in the exhibit are "Galileo," the smallest book printed from movable type, and the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khaiyam," the tiniest volume ever printed. The latter, about half the size of a dime, was produced by a special photo-reducing process; the only other extant copy of it resides in the British Museum.
Other specimens are: a longhand copy of President Boover's acceptance speech, approximately the size of a postage stamp, with the President's autograph on the fly-leaf; the smallest existent Babylonian clay tablet, dating about 2800 B.C.; the smallest pack of playing cards and smallest newspaper in the world; a Testament in shorthand, the key of which permitted the decodation of Pepys' famous diary; and the almanac of King Edward VII when Prince of Wales. The complete diminutive library totals over 100 volumes.
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