Small Things of Greatest Consequence

Miniature Bibles in America

Authors

  • Dorina Miller Parmenter Spalding University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/post.35865

Keywords:

thumb Bible, miniature, children, Christian literature, icon, amulet, talisman

Abstract

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.

Author Biography

Dorina Miller Parmenter, Spalding University

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, School of Liberal Studies, Spalding University, USA.

References

Primary sources

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

Fessenden, Thomas G. 1816. Miniature Bible or Abstract of Sacred History. Battleborough, VT: John Holbrook.

Greeting Card from Mrs. Seiler to Jack Vaughan. 1943. The Portal to Texas History. https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth379846/m1/3/

Harris, Benjamin. 1717. The Holy Bible in Verse. Boston: John Allen.

“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.

The Little Picture Bible for Young Children. 1841. New Haven: S. Babcock.

The World’s Smallest Bible. 1933. Cincinnati: International Company.

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Published

2019-03-26

How to Cite

Parmenter, D. M. (2019). Small Things of Greatest Consequence: Miniature Bibles in America. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 9(2-3), 150-168. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.35865