Photo 31 Mar 82 notes Amongst a collection of medical oddities housed at the Surgeons’ Hall Museum in Edinburgh lies a tattered pocketbook. It is dark brown—nearly black—with a pebbled texture and gold lettering that has begun to fade with age. Upon closer inspection, the words ‘EXECUTED 28 JAN 1829’ and ‘BURKE’S SKIN POCKET BOOK’ come into focus, revealing the item’s true origins. This is a book bound in the skin of William Burke, the notorious murderer and body snatcher of Burke & Hare fame.
The process of binding books using human flesh is known as ‘anthropodermic bibliopegy’.

Amongst a collection of medical oddities housed at the Surgeons’ Hall Museum in Edinburgh lies a tattered pocketbook. It is dark brown—nearly black—with a pebbled texture and gold lettering that has begun to fade with age. Upon closer inspection, the words ‘EXECUTED 28 JAN 1829’ and ‘BURKE’S SKIN POCKET BOOK’ come into focus, revealing the item’s true origins. This is a book bound in the skin of William Burke, the notorious murderer and body snatcher of Burke & Hare fame.

The process of binding books using human flesh is known as ‘anthropodermic bibliopegy’.

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    Borgin & Burkes source.
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