Gargan Hall Stained Glass Audio Tour

The next time you are in the Bapst Library, check out the new audio tour of the Gargan Hall stained glass windows. Glass artist Earl Edward Sanborn designed the windows based on correspondence with then president, Father James H. Dolan, who established the theme of the curriculum of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. He finished them in 1928. A book about all of the stained glass at BC–Transforming Light: The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College, by Virginia Chieffo Raguin and Gary Wayne Gilbert–is available at the Bapst Library information desk.

Logic in Transforming Light: The Stained-Glass Windows
Detail, Images from the east wall, Philosophy alcove. Page 73: Logic in Transforming Light: The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College, by Virginia Chieffo Raguin and Gary Wayne Gilbert
QR code
Scan this QR code for a sample audio tour of the philosophy window

In addition to the website with the complete tour, each window has a descriptive sign with a QR code. Just point your phone’s camera at the QR code, and the text and audio about that window will open. Don’t forget your headphones, they will keep you from getting displeased looks from those who are studying nearby!

The idea for this tour started with our planning for Parents Weekend. Rather than offer guided tours which require people to show up at a specific time, we thought a self-guided approach would be logistically easier. Having the tour online also provides the same information to anyone who visits Gargan Hall. So, if students need a distraction from their studies, they can open the tour and learn about the stained glass window next to them, which might picture a whimsical frog or a man seeming to summon lightning.

Stained glass image of a frog
Detail, Images from the west wall, Poetry and Drama alcove, Gargan Hall, Bapst Library. Page 48: The Frogs, in Transforming Light: The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College, by Virginia Chieffo Raguin and Gary Wayne Gilbert
A stained glass detail
Detail, Images from the East wall, Useful Arts alcove. Page 64: Engineering, in Transforming Light: The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College, by Virginia Chieffo Raguin and Gary Wayne Gilbert

Much of the information came from existing guides to the Bapst Library windows.  During the summer, those narratives were enhanced (and sometimes corrected) by library staff. The team that worked on this project includes Nina Bogdanovsky, Sonia Ensins, Laurie Mayville, Steve Runge and Scott Britton.

more ornate stained glass details
Detail, Images from the East wall, Natural Science alcove. Page 68: Astronomy, in Transforming Light: The Stained-Glass Windows of Boston College, by Virginia Chieffo Raguin and Gary Wayne Gilbert

Scott Britton

Associate University Librarian, Public Services, Office of the University Librarian