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The Library Inscriptions

Interior Inscriptions 1

Lobby Entrance

A panel mounted on the east wall of the library lobby, opposite the circulation desk, has the inscription

Schweigen und Denken
Wird keinen kränken...

[ Silence and thought ]
[ Harm no one... ]

These are the first lines from Epigram No. 97 of the poet Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827), Gedichte, Leipzig, 1837. He is best known for his “Die schöne Müllerin” and “Die Winterreise” poems set to music by Franz Schubert (D796 and D911).

The second part of the epigram is

Unbedacht Sagen,
Wer wollt’ es verklagen?

[ Thoughtless words, ]
[ Who wants to be accused ]
[ of them? ]

The panel, measuring approximately 8 feet by 2 feet, is Dakota Mahogany granite. The polished surface was lightly sandblasted through a rubber stencil, to transfer the letter forms, and then carved by hand to create the shallow U-section of the letters. These are a Northern European version of the chancery italic hand, inspired by the work of the contemporary German calligrapher Friedrich Neugebauer. The panel was installed on September 2, 1995. 

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