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About Special Collections

Student working in Special Collections

Important Announcements:
All visiting researchers can now access the Special Collections Reading Room by booking an appointment 24 hours in advance. The Special Collections Reading Room is open to Smith students, faculty and staff who are in the campus COVID-19 screening program. Emeriti faculty, Five College students who are registered for a Smith course, Smith research affiliates, and invited guests are also welcomed. Masks continue to be required in all indoor shared spaces.

The Collections

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.

College Archives

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...

Mortimer Rare Book Collection

The Mortimer 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...

Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History

The Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College is an internationally recognized repository of manuscripts, archives, photographs, periodicals and other primary sources in women's history. The Collection strives to make visible women who have typically been invisible in the historical record and seeks 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...


The Sophia Smith Collection will not be accepting donations of materials through Summer 2022 due to staffing constraints and COVID-related work limitations. Please contact the Sophia Smith Archivist for additional information.