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.
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.
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.