Archive for October, 2015

October 29, 2015

Halloween in Philadelphia 🎃

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Stanczyk is in a macabre mood … it must be that Halloween Full Moon a couple of days ago or perhaps because  in a couple of more days its Halloween itself.

So this jester was reading about books & libraries to assuage my bibliophage tendencies. In Philadelphia we have a unique collection of books the largest known cache:  anthropodermic bibliopegy
Well now, that suits the mood just fine. If you clicked on the anthropodermic bibliopegy link, then you know this is a story about book binding using human skin. So the largest collection of human skinned books is located in Philadelphia. To be precise it is in: The Historical Medical Library of the College  of Physicians of Philadelphia. 

How Do You Know its really Human Skin?

Forensic scientists have developed a method called, peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF). So you might think these books would be at the Mütter Museum. You’d be part correct, since the Mütter Museum is part of The Historical Medical Library. Got a minute? Watch this You Tube video, (a Mütter Minute on one of the books). If you have a bit more time then read the mental floss article: http://mentalfloss.com/article/51634/bizarre-art-binding-books-human-skin .

So how many creepy books are in this collection? Five books.  (see the image above). Perhaps we should be grateful that the largest collection is only five books. Happy Halloween and do not forget All Saints Day & All Souls Day too (good days to go to cemeteries and visit with your ancestors).

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