Harvard owns a book that’s bound in human skin. One of its curators announced today that tests on a book titled Des destinées de l’ame (Destinies of The Soul), which was published sometime in the 1880s, have confirmed with 99.9 percent confidence that it’s been bound in human skin. The book has been sitting in Harvard’s Houghton Library since the 1930s and has had a note inside it from the donor, who explains that he had the book bound in human skin. In French, translated by Harvard, he wrote:
"This book is bound in human skin parchment on which no ornament has been stamped to preserve its elegance. By looking carefully you easily distinguish the pores of the skin. A book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering: I had kept this piece of human skin taken from the back of a woman. It is interesting to see the different aspects that change this skin according to the method of preparation to which it is subjected…"