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Dr. Hamed Maarouf Alzaiat :: Publications:

Anthropodermic Bibliopegy, or, Using Human Skins in Books Binding: A historical study
Authors: Alzaiat, Hamed Maarouf
Year: 2018
Keywords: الببليوبيجيا الأنثروبوديرميكية- الببليوبيجيا- تجليد الكتب بجلود البشر- تجليد الكتب- مواد تجليد الكتب- جلود البشر- الببليوجرافيا التاريخية
Journal: المجلة الدولية لعلوم المكتبات والمعلومات
Volume: 5
Issue: 3
Pages: Not Available
Publisher: Not Available
Local/International: International
Paper Link: Not Available
Full paper Not Available
Supplementary materials Not Available

This study discuss the history of ‘Book Binding Phenomenon’ which mean that using human skin in binding books. This Phenomenon has been appeared, virtually, during the 16th century, began in the 19th century and had disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century. The motivations of this phenomenon have been varied between a punishment of the guilty criminals and a desire of some people to prevent their skin from decomposition after death, also the marginalized and the poor, in addition to the judicial decisions as a source of access to human skin. That skin was drowned in known places such as the French city, "Midon", and by famous binders such as John Stockton Hog and Rapparlier who was the binder of the book entitled "Dance of death". Doctors also took part in this practice by their hands, but the collectors of the books kept it from extinction to appear in the modern era and cause a noise in the antique libraries which rose to search for these human covers by using advanced techniques as "mass spectrometry analysis" in collaboration with prominent scientists as "Daniel P. Kirby". The study pointed to some people who used their skins in Binding of books such as John Horwood, William Burke, etc., in completely absence of all religious, morals and legal matters, whether by the courts or doctors. Despite the allegations surrounding binding of books with human skins generally, and some of them correctly proved, but others have not yet proved, just like a copy of the “Holy Quran” with the skin of an Arab sheikh named Bashir bin Salem al-Harthy that had been found in the Cleveland Public Library, U.S.A. However, there are a lot of books all over the world that had been covered with human skin in different subjects and languages directions. According to language direction English came in first rank with 41%. In subject direction Medicine came first with 45.5%. Finally, by time line the 19th century came first with 59.1% from total number of books which covered with human skin that included in the bibliography of the study, and contained just twenty-two books covered with human skin.

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