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The New Neilson Library

The Library of the Future, Currently Underway

As the intellectual heart of the campus, Neilson Library advances and celebrates learning, benefiting all who come to Smith. Ground was broken in October 2017 for a new Neilson Library designed by renowned architectural designer Maya Lin. Her vision incorporates the original 1909 facade and reimagines the complex as an intellectual commons. The project is expected to be completed in early 2021.

Maya Lin's Designs for the New Neilson Library

The renovation will feature two new wings, dubbed “jewel boxes” by Maya Lin. The new south wing will bring together special collections—the Sophia Smith Collection, Rare Books and College Archives—creating one-stop access to these important, rich materials and the staff who study and care for them. The new north wing will be filled with spaces to support active learning and scholarship, entrepreneurship and innovation. It will also include a cafe and digital media hub that will bring the community together. Natural light, an energy-efficient design, cutting-edge technology and flexible, collaborative workspaces will combine to create a one-of-a-kind library for Smith’s next century.

For more information about the new Neilson Library, contact Library Redesign Project Manager Allison Page at