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First Look: Moving Books into the New Neilson Library

books on metal shelves in the Neilson Library

A shelf in the Neilson Library as it starts to fill up with books.

On December 14, 2020, the W.B. Meyers company and Smith Libraries staff began preparing to pack up books in the Five College Annex. The Annex, located in Hatfield, has been holding hundreds of thousands of Smith College books while the Neilson Library was under construction. On December 29, the first books began returning to the Neilson Library. Here are some first-look photos of the book moving process.

Service note: books from the Young Library and the Annex are unavailable while they are moved into Neilson. Books from the Hillyer and Josten libraries, as well as the Five Colleges, are still available during this time. The books in Neilson will be available for request starting on February 11, 2021. Please note that contactless pickup will continue to be offered out of Bass Hall until a new location in Neilson Library is available.

movers packing carts full of books in a warehouse type space

Smith-owned books in the Five College Annex are packed onto carts to prepare for the move. Books are packed in shelf order, making it easy for movers to place books directly on the empty stacks in the Neilson Library.

workers line up carts full of books outside the Neilson Library

Moving carts entering the new Neilson Library, reuniting the building with its books.

empty metal bookshelves

Clean, new stacks await the arrival of the books.

young woman with long blond hair putting a book high on a metal book shelf

Julia Falkner ‘19 places the very first book to return to the Neilson shelves, The Crisis of Reason: European Thought, 1848-1914 by J.W. Burrow. The books are being placed on the shelves in order by call number, and this happened to be the first item in this section.

mover looking down a row of bookshelves in the Neilson library

A W.B. Meyers mover looks on as the Neilson stacks fill up on the Ground Floor. Brightly colored, temporary signs at the end of each shelf indicate what part of the collection belongs there.


Photo credit: Abby Baines



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