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Reading Room Accessibility

Smith College Special Collections

Special Collections is committed to ensuring equal access for all visitors. Researchers needing accommodations beyond what is listed are welcome to contact our staff at in advance of their visit.


The reading room door requires manual entry by hand; it does not have a push button door controller. The staff member at the welcome desk can provide assistance as needed.


The reading room is outfitted with chairs on casters, with arms and without. There are also stationary chairs just off the reading room, also with and without arms. Please ask the staff at the reference desk for one of the stationary chairs, should you like to use one. We have two types of tables, five stationary and one adjustable height. The adjustable height table is the last table to your left as you enter the reading room.


Chairs on casters (With arms and without arms)

  • Back height (in): 38.3
  • Width (in): 25
  • Depth (in): 17.25
  • Weight (lbs): 19
  • Seat Height (in): 20
  • Seat Height Min (in): 15.5
  • Arm Height (in): 27.5
  • Weight Capacity (lbs): 300

Stationary chairs (With arms and without arms) Please note: these chairs have wool upholstery.

  • With arms: arm height: 8”
  • Back height: 32⅝"
  • Seat width: 21⅝"
  • Seat depth: 20⅞"
  • Seat height: 17⅜"
  • Weight Capacity (lbs): 300


  • 5 stationary: 60wx84lx 29h
  • 1 adjustable height: 65wx73lx min:28 max:48


  • The reading room has many glass windows; there are curtains that can be closed to adjust the light conditions.
  • Researchers may borrow an adjustable table lamp for their use as needed.
  • There are curtains and shades that researchers can close according to their needs.


While we do have some assistive equipment available, researchers are encouraged to bring equipment they might need for their visit.


Accessible bathrooms, individual and all gender, are located approximately 75 feet down the hall.

Parking & Grounds


  • Accessible parking requires a visitor parking form to be filled out in advance.
  • There are four accessible parking spots in the public lot between Alumnae Gym and Hubbard House (Dickinson Lot), approximately 500 feet from the front entrance of Neilson Library.
  • One parking spot on Neilson Drive in front of Neilson Library.
  • Accessible parking is also available in the parking garage.


All paths across center campus are paved.

Service Animals & Pets

No pets are allowed inside any library buildings in accordance with the Campus Pet Policy.

Note: This prohibition does not apply to individuals accompanied by seeing eye dogs or other trained, assisting animals. See the Service Animal Policy for more information.