The inscription over the door of the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Room, in Widener Library, will shortly be removed and replaced by a new one in memory of Mrs. A. Hamilton Rice, Keyes DeW. Metcalfe, director of the library, said yesterday.
Mrs. Rice, the former Eleanor Elkins Widener, and mother of Harry E. Widener, died in Paris on July 11, 1937. She was the donor of the present structure in the Yard.
"They crossed the sea crusaders keen to help
The nations battling in a righteous cause s
Happy those who with that glowing faith
In one embrace clasped death or victory."
So reads the present inscription, now set between two murals by John Singer Sargent. It is to be split into two couplets, the upper one being placed under the right-hand mural, and the lower under the left-hand one. The lines were composed jointly by Sargent and President Lowell.
Library officials declined to reveal the text of the new inscription, as Dr. A. Hamilton Rice, Director and donor of the Institute of Geographical Exploration, must give it his final approval. He is now in Paris.
Metcalfe said that workmen are experiencing some difficulty in removing the present slab because of its thinness, which will probably force the men to break it in order to get it off.