Teeniest, tiniest book ever

IOWA CITY, Iowa - A giant discovery is actually quite tiny.

NBC's Jason Epner reports that there are 4,000 miniature books at the University of Iowa Libraries' Special Collections.  Recently, a library discovered what could be the smallest book ever printed.

Patrick Olson, Special Collections Librarian, said, "I think it's just the indescribable appeal to really really tiny things."

The book is so tiny it has to be picked up with tweezers.  It is only four millimeters across.

"You have to really concentrate on what you're doing," he said.

Reading it is too much of a strain for the naked eye.  It had been donated to the university in the mid-1990s, but staff were unclear of its origin or meaning.  Technology helped staff to discover that the literature was printed with the first chapter of Genesis from the Bible.

The book has been traced to the 1965 World's Fair in New York.  It was meant to be worn on a necklace, and was originally sold as a two-book set.  The other book is an identical, but slightly larger, Bible.

Giselle Simon, Conservator, explained, "It was pretty technical to do this kind of production, and I think it was very well done."

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