MA: Harvard University removes human skin binding from book

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Harvard University has removed the binding of human skin from a 19th Century book kept in its library. Des Destinées de l’Ame (Destinies of the Soul) has been housed at Houghton Library since the 1930s. In 2014, scientists determined that the material it was bound with was in fact human skin. But the university has now announced it has removed the binding ‘due to the ethically fraught nature of the book’s origins and subsequent history’. Des Destinées de l’Ame is a meditation on the soul and life after death, written by Arsène Houssaye in the mid-1880s. He is said to have given it to his friend, Dr Ludovic Bouland, a doctor, who then reportedly bound the book with skin from the body of an unclaimed female patient who had died of natural causes.” (03/28/24)