Archive for April, 2014

the word made flesh

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , on April 1, 2014 by phanteana

giant libraries can sometimes emit an air of creepiness: the dust and hushed whispers can make patrons feel as if they’ve stepped into a ghostly experience. remember that famous scene in Ghostbusters? it took place at the New York Public Library, and 30 years later the building still attracts legions of tourists. of course, that was Hollywood’s version of a spooky library…in reality, Harvard University might hold the top scary spot with a recent discovery straight out of a horror film: three of its books are bound in human flesh.




yes, that reads correctly: books bound in human fleshan article on the Roadtrippers website states that the books were discovered by staff three years ago, and upon further inspection a grisly revelation had been unearthed: binding books in human skin was a common practice during the 17th Century known as Anthropodermic bibliopegy. fortunately, that method has been discontinued in our modern library world. while the books are on display in the Harvard Reading Room, most people aren’t too keen on picking them up and reading from them…because as everyone knows from the movies, bad things tend to happen when done so.