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Subject: Human skin bindings

Human skin bindings

From: Jack C. Thompson <tcl>
Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Drew Bourn <andrew.bourn [at] simmons__edu> writes

>We have in our collection a 1597 French print of Ovid's
>Metamorphoses that is bound in human skin.
>...
>
>Without meaning to sound too grisly, I would be interested in
>knowing whether such items should be treated the same as (other)
>leather bindings, or if there are special considerations for this
>type of material.

This is a touchy subject.

If you believe that the soul/spirit of the human being whose skin
adorns the volume still inhabits the skin, leave it alone.

If you believe that mammal skin is skin, treat it as you would any
other binding.

The only difference between the two options is belief.

Is it a sacred object, or it is an artifact from the collections?

Personally, I believe that it is an artifact from the collections,

Jack
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon  97217
USA
503-735-3942
Fax: 503-289-8723


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:8
                 Distributed: Wednesday, August 2, 2006
                        Message Id: cdl-20-8-004
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Received on Tuesday, 1 August, 2006

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