Wednesday, January 04, 2017
A few years ago, three separate books were discovered in Harvard University's library that had particularly strange-looking leather covers. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that the smooth binding was actually human flesh... in one case, skin allegedly harvested from a man who was flayed alive.
The practice of using human skin to bind books was not uncommon during the 17th century. Medical professionals would often use the flesh of cadavers they'd dissected during their research to cover medical texts. The process was called "anthropodermic bibliopegy".
The Anthropodermic Book Project has developed an easy, inexpensive, and truly authoritative method for testing alleged anthropodermic books to see if they’re of human origin. To date they have identified 47 books in the world's libraries and museums that are likely bound in human skin.
More here and here