State Library of South Australia

The odd couple

Date: 14 December 2015

So here I am, small and insignificant but I hold a special place in the library's collection. Yes, I am little, so small you could miss me but I have a friend, he's much bigger than me and lives over in the Rare Book Room.

The tiny mark next to the word JACOTIN is the smallest book in the collections
The tiny mark next to the word ‘JACOTIN’ is the smallest book (Der Olympische Eid : in 7 Sprachen) in the State Library’s collections

Recently we took part in the Community Library Assistants' Big Day Out, organised by Libraries SA.

Staff from regional libraries all round South Australia came to see how we preserve our collections. They toured the Conservation Studio, chatting with staff about the treatments they do to preserve our State's heritage. They also toured the digitising, reformatting, film and sound studios where they saw first-hand the cutting edge technologies used in the race against time to digitise a variety of collection material.

Of course the highlight of their tour was something quite fantastic. It was us - the odd couple, the smallest (Der Olympische Eid : in 7 Sprachen, Mainz: [Lord Mayor's Office, 199-?]) and largest (De L' Egypte, Paris, [1818] 962 T F815 d++) physical books we have in our collections.

The smallest book sitting on the largest book

The smallest book in the collections


The smallest book sitting on the largest book (De L' Egypte, Paris, [1818] 962 T F815 d++) in our collection

Der Olympische Eid : in 7 Sprachen, Mainz: [Lord Mayor's Office, 199-?]) - the smallest book in the State Library's collections

You too can meet our conservation staff and visit the Preservation Studios in the basement of the Mortlock Wing in one of our 'Behind the scene: care and repair tours' - who knows what wonders you may see.

Story by Peter Zajicek

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