About Special Collections
Special Collections is closed from May 22nd to September 5th to relocate staff and collections in anticipation of the renovation of Neilson Library and Alumnae Gym (2017-2020). Special Collections--including the College Archives, Mortimer Rare Book Collection, and Sophia Smith Collection--will reopen in Young Library. Information concerning directions, services, and collections accessibility will be updated.
Special Collections will continue to provide some distance reference services through the temporary closure, but with longer delays. We will process all reference requests as quickly as possible. Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about the renovation project can be found on The New Neilson Library website.
As a steward of historical materials of enduring value, Smith College Special Collections fosters inquiry, critical thinking, and knowledge building through an active engagement with the past and a focus on the future. Our curators can advise you on class projects, assist with your research, or simply show you interesting things.
The College Archives holds the many narratives of Smith College, with an emphasis on its vibrant undergraduate life. From the Smithies of 1875 to today, the College Archives documents campus life, landscape, and activism. Stop by to peruse the scrapbooks, journals, and photos of alumnae and to learn how to donate your own material. Read more...
The rare book collection contains printed books and manuscripts from every continent (including Antarctica!) and in many subjects and languages. You’ll find anything from Babylonian clay tablets to medieval codices to contemporary artists’ books. You can also study the original papers and drafts of such literary writers as Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath. Read more...
The Sophia Smith Collection is the oldest and one of the largest collections of women’s history in the world. We strive to make visible women who have typically been invisible in the historical record. We seek to document women's diversity and lived experiences. Dig deeply into the collections of generations of women’s history from Girl Zines such as Girl Germs to Sojourner Truth’s carte de visite that she sold while giving speeches. Read more...