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The New Neilson Library

The Library of the Future

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 complete and the building is now open to approved students, faculty, and staff. For additional access details, see Library Services During COVID-19.

Maya Lin's Designs for the New Neilson Library

The renovation features two new wings, dubbed “jewel boxes” by Maya Lin. The new Mary Maples Dunn 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 Ruth J. Simmons north wing will be filled with spaces to support active learning and scholarship, entrepreneurship and innovation. It will also include a café 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.