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Saturday, November 2, 2013

The International Miniature Book Society


Regarding a recent acquisition of ephemera collected and preserved by the Rasmussens of California, here is another sampling of what that sight-unseen purchase contained.


This is the very first issue of the Newsletter of the IMBS, published by the International Miniature Book Society in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, August 1984. It was edited by Dr. Martin Žnideršič and designed by Kazimir Rapoša. The editor starts the newsletter with the following:
Dear Lovers of miniature books, In front of you is the newsletter of the new international organisation which wants to bring together the interests of lovers of miniature books from all over the world. 
The stated goal is for a quarterly issue for the months of August, November, February, and May. The editor states that this first issue is an experimental one and that the final shape of the newsletter, with member collaboration, will gradually become clear. 

For anyone interested in miniature books, I have scanned the contents of this newsletter and presented the pages below (page 1 is above). Click on a page for an enlarged view. 

Articles include the following: First International Exhibition of Miniature Books in Ljubljana, Bibliography of Miniature Books, How the Symbol of the International Miniature Book Society Originated, Miniature Books in America, The Greatest Miniature Book Artist (Károly Andruskó), and In the Olympic Year, Three Olympic Miniature Books.  






Back on the first page, the concluding paragraph states:  
With the first number of our newsletter we are enclosing some information about the kind of plans we have for the society's future work. 
The first of those enclosures (below) is a single paper, folded, and printed on both sides with information about the IMBS, its founding, its aims, and a brief membership application section.



The other enclosure is a five-page list (List No. 1), folded catalog-style, of miniature books available for sale through the International Miniature Book Society (see below). The books are listed by country--Yugoslavia, Eastern Germany, and Hungary.





And there you have it--the complete inaugural package from the fledgling IMBS to members and prospective members. The society does not appear to exist today in its original form. The complete lack of information available on the current status of the society supports that assumption. The latest reference I can find is from 2004--The Distinguished Book Award from the International Miniature Book Society.

The Miniature Book Society, on its About MBS page, offers, perhaps, a clue to the demise of the IMBS. It indicates that it (the MBS) began in 1983 in the United States and now enjoys a worldwide membership. So, possibly, the IMBS was eventually folded into the MBS, as the need or interest in a segregated international society eventually gave way to an all-encompassing organization.

If my assumption of the IMBS' demise is inaccurate  I'm sure I will be corrected sooner or later. 

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