The macabre undertaking of binding books in human skin sounds like the stuff of horror movies but was actually perpetrated by well-respected doctors in the 19th century, a practice now known as anthropodermic bibliopegy. The most famous held in Bristol is the Horwood book bound by Dr Richard Smith Junior. Arnos Vale is the last resting place of a number of important and influential doctors and they may well have known Dr Richard Smith Junior and his famous book.
Would you know a human skin book if you held one in your hand? Join librarian and author Megan Rosenbloom as she discusses her debut bestselling book, Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation in the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin. In this talk, she’ll explore the various alleged (but yet untested) anthropodermic books in the UK and how these particular books represent an uncomfortable historical relationship between the medical profession and capital punishment.
Megan Curran Rosenbloom is Collection Strategies Librarian at UCLA Library in Los Angeles. Megan served as a medical librarian for many years, where she developed a keen interest in the history of medicine and rare books. Megan Rosenbloom co-founded and directed Death Salon, the event arm of The Order of the Good Death, and is a proponent of the Death Positive movement and tweets as LibraryatNight
She leads a research team called The Anthropodermic Book Project that aims to find the historic and scientific truths behind the world’s alleged books bound in human skin, or anthropodermic bibliopegy, and her bestselling debut book about this practice, titled Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin, was a New York Times Editors Choice and won the 2021 Best Monograph Award from the Librarians, Archivists, and Museum Professionals in the History of the Health Sciences.
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This talk will be held on Zoom. Once you have registered, a link to the event will be emailed to you, and a reminder link will also be sent 24 hours before. Please contact email@example.com if you have any issues. Please note: this talk in 6.30 UK time and 10:30am pacific time.
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