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The Library Inscriptions – Schweigen und Denken

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… ]

Photograph of “Schweigen und Denken…”

The second part of the epigram isThese 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).

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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