Reference Librarian

Mika and I applied for membership at the Boston Athenæum today.

In addition to paying the USD $160 yearly fee, were each asked to provide three references who can attest to care for books. That’s right; three references to get a library card. This is a very good library. We’ll hopefully hear back about our application within two weeks. If we are accepted, we’ll be able to take guests into the library with us.

The Athenæum has, among other things, a copy of Narrative of the life of James Allen, alias George Walton, alias Jonas Pierce, alias James H. York, alias Burley Grove, the highwayman. Being his death-bed confession, to the warden of the Massachusetts state prison. It is bound in the authors skin.

Apparently, while rare, this is not entirely uncommon. The Harvard Law Library has another example of anthropodermic bibliopegy and just a couple months ago, someone found a book bound in human skin in the middle of the street in Leeds.

One Reply to “Reference Librarian”

  1. Oh!  I’m also became a member of the Athanaeum fairly recently.  It is a strange place.  I can’t say the idea of a members-only library sits well with me but the books are intoxicating.  Have you been to the temperature-controlled “drum” yet?

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