In the old city of Baku, Azerbaijan, resides the only museum in the world dedicated to miniature editions of books.
The tiny library of books ins the museum is the result of the private collection of Zarifa Salahova, and has been amassed over the period of more than 30 years. In 2002, when she opened the museum, she finally shared her collection with the public. A large portion of the books also stem from the donation of a Ukrainian collector, who presented his petite books to Salahova in 2001.
The museum has several thousands of the fairy-sized books, including miniature editions of works of Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Gogol, and Chukovsky. The books originate from around the world, and are written in numerous languages, including Azeri, Russian, English, and German. The oldest book in the museum is a miniature copy of the Quran, dating to the 17th century, while the smallest tome (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 bibliophile, opened the museum to motivate the next generation of readers to engage with reading and literature. She has also published a few miniature books herself, including the Constitution of Azerbaijan, which is also on display in the museum.
- Lonely Planet Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan; 3rd Edition; May 2008