In the old city of Baku resides the only museum in the world dedicated to miniature editions of books. The collection of books inside the museum are the result of the private collection of Zarifa Salahova, and has been collected over the period of more than thirty years. In 2002, when she opened the museum, she made her collection public, a large portion of which stems from the donation of a Ukrainian collector, who presented his collection of books to Salahova in 2001.
The museum holds an assortment of several thousands of books, including miniature editions of works of Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Gogol and Chukovsky. The books originate from several countries in the world, and are written in several languages, including Azeri, Russian, English and German, among others. The oldest book in the museum is a miniature copy of the Quran, dating to the 17th century, while the smallest book (6mm x 9mm) is the Russian book “The Most Miraculous Thing,“ which can only be read by using a magnifying glass.
Salahova, herself a dedicated bibliophiliac, has opened the museum to motivate the youth to engage more into reading books. She has also published a few miniature books herself – among others, the Constitution of Azerbaijan, which is also on display in the museum.