Harvard Library Contains Book Made From Human Skin

Harvard dead skin bookLook closely at the accompanying image. Neat, it’s an old leather book. Well, look more closely because this motherf*cking book was once a person.

Harvard University has just confirmed that their massive library contains a volume bound in human skin. The 19th century French owner of the tome wrote a note explaining the choice…

“This book is bound in human skin parchment on which no ornament has been stamped to preserve its elegance. By looking carefully you easily distinguish the pores of the skin.”

It’s “meditation on the soul life and after death” and the skin came from the back of a female mental patient who suffered internal bleeding and died suddenly in the hospital. In other words you can (sort of) rest easy, because she wasn’t slaughtered for the sole purpose of book makin.’ In a way, her body was put to good use… 

I mean, if madam so-and-so hadn’t been made into a book, we wouldn’t be talking about her right now, would we? She’s famous, and totally being caressed by smart people on a weekly basis. Should probably be guarded by this guy, just in case:

This practice wasn’t terribly uncommon back in the day. According to scholars at Harvard’s Houghton Library, there are “many accounts” of similar occurrences where deceased criminals were “donated” to tanners and bookbinders.

Indiana Jones, Rick O’Connell and Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China too.

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