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Neilson Library

 Neilson Library Operating Status

  • For current status of library services, see Library Services During COVID-19
  • All libraries are currently closed
  • Contactless pickup continues to be available in the Bass Hall Lobby
  • An opening date for the Neilson Library will be announced soon. Upon opening, the Neilson library will provide space for individual study, as well as access to books and journals.

The new Neilson Library has many great services and features for students, faculty, staff, and outside researchers. Collections include general collections, bound journals, science collections, magazines, and our Special Collections: the College Archives, the Mortimer Rare Book Collection, and the Sophia Smith Collection of women’s history.

Where to Go for Help

Location Help Provided Contact
Central Service Point, Ground floor
  • Checking out library materials, technology and media production equipment
  • Directions to services, staff, and spaces
  • Course reserves
  • Research advice
  • Technology or software troubleshooting
  • Library account & billing
Digital Media Hub. Ground floor Ruth J. Simmons South Wing Guidance with all Digital Media Hub technology and software  
Welcome Desk, 1st floor Directions to services, staff, and spaces; appointment referrals and general information
Learning Commons, 1st floor Student research, writing, and technology assistance, including tutoring. More information coming soon.  
Conway Center, 1st floor Innovation and financial literacy hub, student ideation space, and venture development assistance (including classes and workshops)  
Special Collections Welcome Desk, 3rd Floor Mary Maples Dunn South Wing Special Collections materials and access 413-585-2970


Collection Locations

General Collections Location
LC Call Numbers A – PT, Burack collection, language readers collection, and reference collection Ground floor
LC Call Numbers PT – Q, journals and magazines 1st floor
LC Call Numbers Q – TX, oversized books 2nd floor
LC Call Numbers TX – ZA, bound journals and current periodicals 3rd floor

For an overview of the letters and corresponding subject areas of the Library of Congress Classification system, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline.

Books shelved in Neilson that were formerly classified under the Dewey Decimal System have been reclassified under the Library of Congress system for ease of use.

Some library materials are housed in the Five College Annex. These materials can be requested through the catalog.

Special Collections

Special Collections materials and staff will move into Neilson Library starting in June 2021 and will be closed over the summer. Please visit Library Services During COVID-19 for current information about Special Collections.

Neilson Spaces & Technology


  • Courtyard
  • Cafe
  • Personal Lockers
  • Reflection Room
  • Caverno Room
  • Phone Rooms
  • Exhibit spaces


Quiet Study

  • Study Carrels are available on the Ground Floor through the 3rd Floor
  • Soft seating is available on all floors
  • Reading Room - 302

Group Study

  • Shared study tables are available on each floor
  • Study spaces on 2nd and 3rd floor Ruth J. Simmons North Wing
  • Group study rooms are available on floors G through 3