Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Library Gothic

Here's a fascinating article on a rather creepy and disturbing footnote to library history:

Brown University's library boasts an unusual anatomy book. Tanned and polished to a smooth golden brown, its cover looks and feels no different from any other fine leather.

But here's its secret: the book is bound in human skin.

A number of prestigious libraries-including Harvard University's-have such books in their collections. While the idea of making leather from human skin seems bizarre and cruel today, it was not uncommon in centuries past, said Laura Hartman, a rare book cataloger at the National Library of Medicine in Maryland and author of a paper on the subject.

(Link courtesy of Q&O)

I don't think my own library has any such books. At least I hope not...


Post a Comment

<< Home