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Harvard library has a book bound in dead woman's skin

This book is covered in human flesh. 

Harvard scientists confirmed on Wednesday that a volume in one of its libraries contained a book that is “without a doubt” bound in a dead woman’s skin.

The phenomenon is called anthropodermic bibliopegy and it used to be fairly common a couple of centuries ago, Washington Post reported.

The 17th century book is owned by Harvard Law School.

The binding material of the Spanish law book published around 1605-1606 was determined after an analysis of nine samples of its front and back covers, binding and glue, said Ms Karen Beck, a rare books curator at Harvard Law School Library.

The Harvard conservation scientist who conducted the testing used a technique for identifying proteins called peptide mass fingerprinting to differentiate the samples from other parchment sources such as cattle, deer, goat and human skin, Reuters reported.

Cattle collagen

The glue was found to consist of cattle and pig collagen.

There were three such books suspected to be in the Harvard libraries, but testing found that two of the three were actually bound in sheepskin.

Source: Washington Post, Reuters

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