Here are some tiny almanacs that I've collected


Calendars, almanacs, and diaries: miniaturizations of time?
A calendar or almanac or diary works by dividing time into months, weeks, days, and even hours.  Almanacs in particular include lots of extra information.  Even a huge calendar has an element  of miniaturization, because the most important facts  have been selected and condensed into one document.

At the other extreme are the almanacs pictured  here.  The one in the green cover (with a picture of Dickens inside) is a Schloss almanac of 1842.  The medium-sized one (about an inch square) is a London almanac for 1877, and as you see the third is for 1900.
Miniaturizing a miniature almanac
Why?
If you need to ask, this is perhaps not the place for you.  I can't even use the mountaineer's reply that he climbs Mount Everest because it's there.  An almanac the size of a thumbnail is one thing, but one the size of a doll's thumbnail  . . . .
Why not?
This is an easier question, and one answer would  be "because it would be invisible."  Depending on the thumb, this is true.  Does it need to be visible?  Not necessarily; sometimes it's enough to know the miniature version is there.  If the almanac will spend most of its life in a doll's pocket, perhaps it won't be worth the making.  If it is for sale in a miniature store lined up with larger calendars and diaries, it will be able to be identified, and may be worth the effort.
How?
By now expert miniaturists have probably already made the almanac, but in this section I am theorizing, so here I go again.  Before choosing materials, I am going to consider the words of Gaston Bachelard:

Values become condensed and enriched in miniature.
Which values do we want to condense in this case?  Not, I think, the apparent value of an almanac, the information contained in it.  Imagine trying to get important information by peering at an old almanac by candlelight!  I would think the pleasure lies in the possibilities hinted at.  Perhaps a lover's meeting pencilled in?  All those empty pages waiting to be filled, even if filled with just mysterious initials.

Aha!  No need to print the contents of a tiny almanac.  It's the smallness I should preserve, and a sense of preciousness. Perhaps I could make a simple division into months, each represented by its initial letter . . . .

So that's what I did.

If you make this almanac, you could use it yourself.  Instead of an annual calendar, you could make one for each month, or even each day (carry them round with you in a pill box!).

For a 1/12 scale dollhouse doll, this almanac would fit into a large pocket, or sit on a desk.

In 1/48 scale, it would fit on a large coffee table.

In 1/144 scale this almanac would be too large to lift.  Try the one below, with folded plain paper inside.



Cut two straight strips of paper, and glue one to the other to make a longer strip.

Mark the months.

Fold accordian-
style, one month per double fold.

Prepare the cover.

Glue the folds on the spine side together, then glue the whole set of pages into the cover.
Add endpapers if you like.


"Our faculties are fitted to images of a certain extent, to which we adjust great things by  division, and little  things by accumulation."--Samuel Johnson
Projects arising from theories about littleness

These are not all in 1/144 scale, though they will be tiny.  They could be small-sized objects in a 1/12 scene.

ALMANACS
The calendar above on the right is our model. The photograph shows it life size; we will try to make it 1/12 of that size.

2006




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Frances Armstrong


Little Learning

Littleness and Miniaturization

Littleness and Language

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