books in thepalm of your hand
Housed in an elegant building not far from the Shirvanshahs’ Palace in the Old City of Baku, the Museum of Miniature Books stores around 8,000 tiny printed publications from 76 different countries. Here you’ll see beautifully designed books of the most different genres and themes that are as small as a matchbox or postage stamp. Moreover, the collection contains the world’s smallest book, measuring 2x2mm, whose text and illustrations can only be seen with the help of a magnifying glass!
The museum, which entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest collection of miniature books in the world, has long been a popular place among tourists. Where else can you see a collection of books in which the largest doesn’t exceed 10x10cm? Among them are many rarities: an ancient Quran published in 1672, an edition of Pushkin’s Yevgeniy Onegin published in the author’s lifetime, a copy of A History of England published in London in 1815 and other extremely rare publications. And the amazing collection all began with an 1835 facsimile edition of Krylov’s Fables.
A big book lover and expert, the museum’s director Zarifa Salakhova acquired it in Moscow in 1982 and later, having developed a serious passion for miniature books, founded this unusual museum. It’s open every day except Mondays and Thursdays from 11am to 5pm. Entrance is free but the owner would certainly be glad to receive a mini book to add to her collection!