April 7, 2014

BOOKS BOUND IN HUMAN SKIN

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Anthropodermic bibliopegy, the binding of books with human skin, has been noted as a common practice back in the 16th century.  Heather Cole, assistant curator of modern books and manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library, writes that “while books bound in human skin are now objects of fascination and revulsion, the practice was once somewhat common at least since the 16th century. The confessions of criminals were occasionally bound in the skin of the convicted, or an individual might request to be memorialized for family or lovers in the form of a book.”

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