Nimmo’s Miniatures

W.P. Nimmo, Hay & Mitchell, Ltd. (Edinburgh, London, UK)
Series dates: 1902-1922
Size: 2.5″ x 3.5″

Nimmo, Hay & Mitchell seems to have been established in the 1850s and published books until about 1970. The firm is sometimes listed as William P. Nimmo (in WorldCat). The peak publishing years for the firm were from the 1860s through the 1920s. The focus over many of these years was on juvenile series, especially reward and gift books. They did publish a few non-juvenile series, including Standard Authors (published from the 1870s through 1910s) and the Clyde Classics (after the street the publisher was located on in Edinburgh, published in the 1910s and 1920s).

Nimmo shared addresses in Edinburgh and London with publisher Sampson Low in the late 1800s and early 1900s suggesting some kind of connection between those two publishers.


Nimmo’s Miniatures were a diminutive series (32mo) of over 60 titles. Nimmo had offered their Miniature Library in the 1880s, and the Nimmo’s Miniatures probably replaced that older series around or a bit after 1900. An advertisement for the Miniature Library (1885) is on the left, below. An advertisement for Nimmo’s Miniatures from the Edinburgh University Calendar (Catalog) is from 1917.

Nimmo catalog page from W. Taylor, Silverton Court (Nimmo, 1885)

From University of Edinburgh Calendar, 1917-1918

A copy of Tennyson’s English Idyls in the Nimmo’s Miniatures is shown below, with a copy of a typically sized reprint series, an Everyman’s Library edition of Smith’s Classical Dictionary (4.5″ x 7″, 1910), and a copy of The Romances of Voltaire from one of the largest reprint series, Dial Press’ Library of Living Classics (6.5″ x 9.5″, 1928).


This copy of English Idyls is undated but was probably printed in the 1917-1922 time range. Two bindings are available, leather at 2s and “Bijou Style” (this copy) at 1s/2d. Jackets are common to the series. The series name is indicated on the top of the front of the jacket, as is the publisher information and a note indicating a list of over 60 titles available from the publisher. Some jackets in this series have illustrations (possibly the leather binding). The rear of the jacket lists a selection of titles, up through #57. English Idyls is #56.


The reverse of this jacket contains parts of two color illustrations, indicating that the jackets were printed on leftover sheets from another book.


The “Bijou Style” binding is cloth (visible in the tan areas below) partially covered with paper printed to look like leather.


The endpapers are printed to look like marbled paper.


The half-title page:


An illustration faces the arts & crafts style title page. There is nothing printed on the copyright page on the reverse of the title page.