Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Duns Scotus Library

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Institution Name: Lourdes College
Original/Historic Place Name: Duns Scotus Library
Location on Campus: 6832 Convent Blvd.
Date(s) of Construction:
1949-1951original construction Holtzman, Wilfred D.
Designer: Wilfred D. Holtzman
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Mission/Mission revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete pilings
Walls: exterior: sandstone walls and light brick rounded fa├žade with pillars and cloister; interior: textured plaster walls embedded with art pieces; large stained glass window in west wall
Roof: terracotta tile
ca. 1929library (high school, rare book collection)
ca. 2004-present (2006)library (college)

Duns Scotus Library, named after Franciscan philospher John Duns Scotus, is significant not only as a library but as a work of art. The central stained glass window captures the spirit of formal learning, displaying insignias from the Universities of Paris, Bologna, Cracow, and Oxford; the figure of medieval printer Aldus Manutius; and a reminder from I Corinthians that knowledge without charity is useless.

Numerous art pieces grace the library. Some of the more notable include two tapestries woven in France, one depicting Joan of Arc and the other St. Louis, King of France; 32 Majolica roundels of significant persons in the fields of politics, theology, philosophy, science, and the arts; and numerous European and Middle Eastern tiles. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the library is the hand-stenciled ceiling designed and executed by Sister Michaeline Lesiak and Sister Agneta Ganzel in only twelve days. It depicts in over 800 acoustical tiles the gifts of the Holy Spirit; the stylized symbols of iron internal beams combine the practical with the aesthetic. A room on the upper level of the library above the entrance was designed as a scriptorium.


Klewicki, Mary Dunstan. Ventures For The Lord: The History of the Sylvania Franciscans. Sylvania, OH: Sisters of St. Francis, 1990.

Lesiak, Michaeline. Art Catalogue: Narrative in the Duns Scotus Library. Sylvania, OH: Sisters of St. Francis, 1986.

Warpeha, M. Justinian. Of Evergreens Rooted In Yellow Sand, a Profile of Venerable Mother M. Adelaide, Foundress of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio. Sylvania, OH: Sisters of St. Francis, 1967.


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Last update: November 2006