Summary Information
Title: German Nationality Room Committee Collection
Collection Number: UA.40.09
Creator: University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. German Nationality Room Committee..

Collection Dates: 1927-1954
Extent: 4.0 boxes

Language: English

The German Nationality Room Committee Collection details the planning, funding, and construction of the German Nationality Room in the Cathedral of Learning. The dates of the documents range from 1927 to 1954, and are in both English and German. The collection contains correspondence, finical statements, newspaper clippings, booklets, minutes, programs, a running memo, photographs and other materials related to the German Nationality Room.

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
Date Published:

November 2015

Finding aid prepared by Alexandra Hebda.

On March 11, 1927, a group of Germans and German-Americans in Pittsburgh appointed a small committee to plan and fundraise for the German Nationality Room in the Cathedral of Learning. For political reasons, the committee did no go abroad for funding or architectural advice, unlike many of the other Nationality Room Committees. The German Room was dedicated on December 2, 1938, to 450 guests. At the time, the design of the room’s windows had not been finalized. Fundraising continued, and stained glass windows based on traditional German fairy tales were installed and dedicated on February 7, 1954.

Reinhard Ullrich was the first chairman of the German Nationality Committee, serving as president from 1927 to after the dedication in 1938. The vice chairman of the committee was Henry Meuschke, who helped the committee until his death in 1940. Fritz Ueberle and John Evangelist Loibl were the committee secretaries, and Peter Fischer served as treasurer. The design for the room was drafted by Pittsburgh architect Frank Linder, and the details and construction were carried out under the direction of Gustav Ketterer of Philadephia. The committee also worked with Ruth Crawford Mitchell, the Advisor of the Nationality Rooms for the University of Pittsburgh.

The German Nationality Room is designed in the style of the 16th century German Renaissance, based on the Great Hall of the University of Heidelberg. The entrance bares the crest of the two oldest German Universities (Heidelberg and Leipzig), and the wall panels and window bare the names of famous German poets, musicians, scientists, and philosophers. The ceiling is painted with the crests of different German cities, and the floor is made of oak. The four corners of the room are decorated with characters from German literature. Since 1954, the windows contain stained glass panels that portray characters and events from German fairy tales.

As of 2015, the German Room Committee offers a scholarship for students with a working knowledge of German to study abroad.

Collection Scope and Content Notes

The German Nationality Room Committee Collection contains documents related to the planning, funding and construction of the German Nationality Room in the Cathedral of Learning. The majority of the records range from 1927 to the dedication of the room in 1938, though there is some material from 1939 to 1941. There are also records documenting the dedication of the fairy tale inspired stained glass windows in 1954. The collection includes the committee’s minutes, member biographies, financial information, newspaper clippings, publicity materials, correspondence between the committee members, architectural correspondence, programs and booklets, and a running memo related to the German Nationality Room and German Nationality Room Committee. The collection also contains photographs on the design of the room and events it hosted, as well as dedication information on the stained glass windows. The material in this collection includes records in both English and German.

Subject Terms

  • Classrooms -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • German Americans -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

Corporate Names
  • Nationality Rooms (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. German Nationality Room Committee..
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program.

Personal Names
  • Linder, Frank
  • Mitchell, Ruth Crawford, 1890-
  • Ullrich, Reinhard

  • Clippings (Information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Photographs

  • University of Pittsburgh

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Transferred to the University Archives by the Nationality Rooms Program Office in 1999.

Preferred Citation:

German Nationality Room Committee Collection, 1927-1954, UA.40.09, University of Pittsburgh Archives

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Alexandra Hebda in October 2015.


The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Collection Inventory

Box 1
Folder 1 Minutes, 1928-1938
Folder 2 Biographies
Folder 3 Financial Statements, 1930-1939
Folder 4 Publicity Material, 1938-1940
Folder 5 Newspaper Clippings, 1929-1954
Folder 6 Running Memo, 1927-1938
Folder 7 Design Review
Folder 8 General Correspondence, 1927-1934
Folder 9 General Correspondence, 1935-1940
Folder 10 Architectural Correspondence, 1927-1938
Folder 11 Grab Inschriften Im Heidelbergrt Berg Friedhof
Folder 12 Louis Marhoefer Award
Folder 13 Presentation Ceremony Program
Folder 14 University of Pittsburgh Booklets
Folder 15 Christmas Event Programs, 1942, 1948
Folder 16 Nationality Classrooms Book
Folder 17 Presentation on German Classroom Windows

Box 2
Folder 18 Classroom Design Photographs
Folder 19 German Classroom Committee Photograph, 1927-1936
Folder 20 Classroom Photographs, 1938-1954
Folder 21 Classroom Usage Photographs
Folder 22 Dedication of German Classroom Photographs, December 2, 1938
Folder 23 Golden Book Photographs, 1939, 1954
Folder 24 Window Presentation Photographs, February 7, 1954
Folder 25 Stained Glass Window Dedication and Thanks, 1954
Folder 26 The Frog Prince Window Thanks, 1954
Folder 27 Red Riding Hood Window Thanks, 1954
Folder 28 Snow White Window Thanks, 1954
Folder 29 Hansel and Gretel Window Thanks, 1954
Folder 30 One Eye, Two Eyes, Three Eyes Window Thanks 1954
Folder 31 Rumpelstilzchen Window Thanks, 1954
Folder 32 Sleeping Beauty Window Thanks, 1954
Folder 33 Snow White and Rose Red Window Thanks, 1954
Folder 34 Cinderella Window Thanks, 1954

Box 3
Item 1-5 Committee Archives Boxes