Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, Vol 9, No 2-3 (2013)

Small Things of Greatest Consequence: Miniature Bibles in America

Dorina Miller Parmenter
Issued Date: 26 Mar 2019


This article provides an overview of miniature books designated as “Bibles” that were produced in North America, with a focus on popular nineteenth-century children’s “thumb Bibles.” It examines the intended use of these Bibles, as evidenced in the prefaces to the printed books, as well as the ways that American printers altered their English prototypes and produced new volumes that reflected ideals of childhood and Christian education in the U.S. during the time. The study also addresses how developments in printing technology affected the form, content, and use of miniature Bibles since the end of the nineteenth century.

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DOI: 10.1558/post.35865


Primary sources

A Lady of Cincinnati. 1834. A Child’s Bible with Plates. Cincinnati: Truman, Smith and Company.

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Greeting Card from Mrs. Seiler to Jack Vaughan. 1943. The Portal to Texas History.

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“Midget Bible.” 1928. Advertisement in novelty catalog, 375. Racine, WI: Johnson, Smith and Company.

Taylor, John. 1614. Verbum Sempiternum Together with Salvator Mundi. London: Jo. Beale for John Hamman.

The Bible in Miniuture, or a Concise History of the Old & New Testaments. 1780. London: E. Newbery.

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