From Hilarious Trinket to Shame: Embarrassing Harvard University Removes Human Skin Cover from Book

From Hilarious Trinket to Shame: Embarrassing Harvard University Removes Human Skin Cover from Book

The major American university library, Harvard, will open… Human skin from the cover From a book in his collection, like this one The organization wrote Wednesday. The decision comes after years of debate over Harvard's ethical obligations regarding the large amounts of body parts in its collection.

The book, an edition of the French book Destinies of the soul (The Destiny of the Soul) by Arsène Houssaye came into the possession of Harvard University in 1938, cover and all, and according to tradition, the first owner, the French physician Ludovic Bouland, took the skin of an unknown deceased woman and the cover from the book. He put a note in the book that read: “A book that revolves around the human soul must also have a human cover.” No one knew if the book was actually bound in human skin, but the university legend surrounding the eccentric book was strong nonetheless.

The book has been displayed for years during library tours and, by some tradition, used to introduce new students. In short: the book was viewed as a somewhat comical and interesting book for collectors, not as an embarrassment to the library. That changed in 2014 when Harvard University asked its scientists to investigate this myth. Indeed, it turned out that the book was covered in human skin, and after that the discussion began about the moral responsibility that institutions such as Harvard University bear towards the human remains in their possession.

“Sexy, satisfying and comedic tone”

The university has it now I apologize Because of the inappropriate “erotic, morbid, and comic tone” in which the book was presented when it was part of the Harvard collection. The university is now looking for a way to provide respectful skin comfort.

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In recent years, Harvard University commissioned a large-scale study of human remains in its collection, as part of a wide-ranging effort to uncover the university's role in colonialism and the history of slavery in America. The researchers analyzed more than 20,000 items in the collection, from complete skeletons to bone fragments.



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