Harvard University has removed the binding from a 19th Century book kept in its library which scientists determined in 2014 was made from human skin.

The book, Des Destinées de l’Ame, is a meditation on the soul and life after death, written by Arsène Houssaye in the mid-1880s.

According to the BBC, it has been housed at Houghton Library since the 1930s.

On the strength of the 2014 analysis proving that the material it was bound with was in fact human skin, the university announced that had removed the binding ‘due to the ethically fraught nature of the book’s origins and subsequent history’.

The author of the book is said to have given it to a friend, Dr Ludovic Bouland, a doctor, who then reportedly bound the book with skin from the body of an unclaimed female patient who had died of natural causes.

[Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastiagiralt/3141955827]