Anthropodermic Bibliopegy (Skin-bound books)

ADHD librarian sends "this story about
Harvard having books bound in human skin
Has anyone counted the students recently?"

n the 19th century, book bindings in human skin captured the romantic notions of the upper class, and anthropodermic bindings became more common. A frequent subject of such bindings were anatomy textbooks, which doctors and medical students may have had bound in the skin of cadavers they had dissected.


The Boston Athenaeum private library has a book bound it human skin.

It was the memoir of a (if I'm remembering correctly) 19th century death-row prisoner, who requested that one copy of the book be bound in his skin after his death and sent to the man who had captured him (who he said he had a good deal of respect for, as most people had given in to his highway-robbery without resistance).

I haven't heard what the beneficiarie's reaction was on reciving this bequest...

Regretfully, over the years a few occult books were also bound in human skin (sometimes from infants). One of the recurrent stories going about is that several top level Nazis had copies of occult books bound in the skin of Holocaust victims. I don't know if this is an urban legend, but it is nonetheless believable of those shazbat.
        Also several Rennaissance magicians were noted for this practice of binding important books in human skin. But then, these were the same people who drank out of cups fashioned from human skulls, and other less sanitary practices.

Do you have a source for the occult/medeaval stuff? That sounds suspiciously like an urban legend, more so than the other.