Books bound in human skin found in top libraries


- 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 and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia - 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. More, from The Associated Press


I've talked to people who've viewed the new traveling Bodies, The Exhibition , exhibiting real human remains. Many have enjoyed it. But I can't imagine going there myself. Not that I'm squeamish (having been a participant/observer of birth, death and a few things in between), but it seems well, kind of ~inhuman~.

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