In honor of starting my new job as a librarian, I wanted to kick off with a library related site, so when this Atlas Obscura article landed on my twitter feed, I knew I was going to share it with all of you. I know that’s a really ominous title, but as you’ll see in a minute totally fitting.
Atlas Obscura features the book “Shadows from the walls of death: facts and inferences prefacing a book of specimens of arsenical wall papers” in this article. It is a collection of one hundred wallpaper samples printed in 1874 that could kill you if you touched it because of the dangerously high level of arsenic that saturate its pages.
The article shares the history of the book, who created it and why, where the original one hundred copies circulated, and even where the four remaining copies reside now.
Thankfully you don’t have to touch it to check it out! It was digitized by the National Library Medicine where you can view the entire book. Once you’re in the gallery, click on a page to view it larger, and then you can use the forward and back navigation buttons near the bottom of the page to flip through the entire book.
Go check out this incredible, but deadly book today!