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Courtyard

The Neilson Library is now open for item pickup and physically distanced study. For details on building access, collections, and services, see the Neilson Library webpage. All other library locations are currently closed. 
COVID-19 Library Services Neilson Library webpage

artist rendering of students studying outside a courtyard with trees and plants

The Courtyard, located on the Ground floor of the Neilson Library, brings greenery and sunlight to the underground section of the building’s Ruth J. Simmons North Wing. The glass walls are lined with chairs for individual study, and quiet study carrels are located close by for private study. Bordering the carrels are some sections of the general collections, housed by compact shelving. 

The garden landscaping is simple but elegant, featuring five yellow birch trees and groundcover. Yellow birch is a native New England tree that can be found on steep hillsides and mountains, especially to the north of Northampton; it is loved for its shiny silvery-yellow appearance.

The trees are complemented with a groundcover of barren strawberry, which is not actually a strawberry, but a botanical relative. This perennial occurs throughout much of the eastern US and makes for an active competitor to weeds, with small yellow flowers in the spring and dense green foliage throughout the growing season.