Stained Glass Windows
The Helen A. Ganser library holds four of the stained glass windows originally placed in Old Main. In the lobby, from left to right, are “History,” “Literature” and “Art.” All three windows in the lobby were restored and added to the library in 1985, at a cost of $3,000 each. All feature the three pieces: The bottom with the Normal School class pin design, which is a lamp, symbolizing the lamp of learning for education acquired at Millersville, and a keystone, representing the support of the school by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; a figure representing the theme of the window and the top with the alumni badge, which is a seven-pointed alumni star with the Latin phrase “ad astra,” meaning “toward the stars.” On the fourth floor of Ganser, the window “Hope” can be found in the Esther Risser Whitely Reading Room, cleaned and restored at a cost of $1,000. After the library is renovated, all of the stained glass windows will remain but will be moved to new locations. The cracked or broken pieces of glass will be replaced and new display cases will be fabricated.
The “History” window was donated by the class of 1900, put in the chapel of Old Main and later relocated to the library. The top piece features the alumni badge and the phrase, “In books lies the soul of the whole past time.” The figure in the middle is a person depicted holding a book and what appears to be a pencil or quill. On the columns on either side of the figure are names of people in history. The bottom of the window reads “History” and the phrase, “Litera scripta manet,” translating to “the written word endures.”
The “Literature” window was donated by the class of 1907. The “Literature” window has the top piece with the alumni badge, the middle piece, featuring a figure holding a book, and the bottom of the window has the pin of the Normal School and the word “Literature” with the phrase, “Efficiunt clarum studio,” translating to “they make it clear by study.”
The “Art” window was placed in the Chapel of Old Main in 1901. The top piece of the window, has the phrase “Seraphs share with thee knowledge: But art, O man, is thine alone!” The figure shown in the window is a woman standing, holding what appears to be a scroll in one hand and The Parthenon in the other.
“Hope” was placed in the Chapel of Old Main in 1904 and is now in the Archive and Special Collections section of the library, dedicated in 1984. It was dedicated in memory of Esther Risser Whitely in the Reading Room of Ganser. The figure in the middle section of the window is a woman reaching into the sky, whose face is a likeness of a Lancaster child. The mother of the child was a member of the class of 1904. Running along the side of the figure is the word “Hope.” The window has the top alumni badge, the middle figure and a bottom piece; however, the bottom piece is not from the original “Hope” window; it is assumed to be from the “Charity” window.