Harlem, New York, a large neighborhood in the northern section of New York City Borough of Manhattan, has been known as a major African-American residential, cultural and business center since the 1920s. The influx of African-Americans into Harlem began with The Great Migration when 5 million southern Blacks moved north and west between 1915 and 1960. The first large movement occurred during World War I when 454,000 Black southerners moved north to Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh and New York.
The Harlem Renaissance was originally known as the “New Negro Experience” named after the 1925 anthology The New Negro: An Interpretation, edited by Alain Loccke.
D. Luke Biemesderfer and Elva Walter Biemesderfer were both graduates of the Millersville State Normal School, Class of 1917. D. Luke Biemesderfer became President of Millersville State Teachers College in 1943 and served for 22 years.
During this time period numerous changes were made to the College and Campus and this exhibit highlights some of those changes as well as some of the memorabilia from their time at Millersville.
The stained glass windows were once only located in the Chapel and the Library. When the chapel was torn down in the late 1960s, the windows that were there were preserved and are now located in buildings throughout campus. The library was renovated and is now the Biemesderfer Executive Center where the stained glass windows remain.