It’s sweeps week here at librarian enterprises, so here’s some links about anthropodermic bindings.

For those of you who were asleep during The History of Books and Printing, that’s books bound in human skin. Because if you intellectualize it, it’s not icky. (from boing boing)

Speaking of books bound in human skin, have you seen Peter Greenway’s film The Pillow Book? It’s one of my favorites. It’s about a woman’s obsession with writing on the human body, and understandably also, her obsession with Ewan McGregor’s schlong. Don’t watch during dinner, in spite of or perhaps because of Ewan McGregor’s schlong. Special collections librarians: Play this movie at your next SLA meeting!

6 Replies to “Epidermaography”

  1. I read the article too last week. I work in a medical library and we do have these old books, so I was wondering if we have any … apparently not. Still an interesting topic though.


  2. Neat topic!

    Kind of makes you wonder how many of the old leather-bound books hidden deep in the stacks of the Olin and Koch Libraries are actually bound in human skin, huh? :)

    Next time I visit we ought to rent the Pillow Book… I haven’t seen it in ages.

    Also, if you have not read “Stiff” by Mary Roach yet, then you ought to do so at once. I don’t think it mentions using human skin to bind books, but it covers pretty much everything else that you can do with a corpse.

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