There’s a spectacular new book coming out at the end of this summer called Library of Dust, by photographer David Maisel, published by Chronicle Books. . . . In 1913, Maisel explained, an Oregon state psychiatric institution began to cremate the remains of its unclaimed patients. Their ashes were then stored inside individual copper canisters and moved into a small room, where they were stacked onto pine shelves.
(A tip of the hat to Andrew Sullivan.)