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Visit Special Collections

Access

We are eager to welcome anyone and everyone to come use our collections, regardless of background, age, affiliation, or the nature of your research. Smith College Special Collections is open to the public. Materials cannot be checked out, but our staff is available to assist with use in our reading room. A brief registration process, including photo identification, is required of all researchers. While the majority of our collections are fully open and available for research, some records have restrictions placed on them for various reasons that include privacy, state and federal regulations, and issues of fragility and preservation. These restrictions are noted in the various access tools available to researchers. Some materials are located off-site and require a 48-hour notice for retrieval. Some audiovisual materials may require reproduction before viewing/listening, which may cause a delay in your research.

It is advisable to contact Special Collections before visiting to alert the reference staff to your research topic. Then we can often provide finding aids, photocopies, and other information to help you plan your visit.

We are glad to make research appointments or host group or class presentations about the holdings and the use of primary sources. Faculty are encouraged to request class orientation sessions when they plan assignments using Special Collections.

Parking Information

Parking in campus lots and the Smith College Parking Garage is restricted on weekdays until 5:00 p.m. After 5:00 p.m. and until 1:00 a.m., visitors may park in any white- or blue-lined space on campus or in the Smith College Parking Garage, located at 42 West Street. Blue-lined visitor spaces are marked on all levels of the College parking garage.

If you wish to park on campus during business hours on weekdays, you will need a one-day Visitor Pass (available from Special Collections or Campus Police) to display in your car. This permit should be displayed on the dash of the vehicle and allows visitors to park in white- or blue-lined spaces. If you contact us in advance of your visit, we will gladly send up to three  passes. If you are planning a stay of more that three days, please contact Campus Police (located at 126 West Street in the Facilities Management building) to acquire a long-term temporary visitor parking pass. There is no charge for visitor passes.

Visitors may also park on the streets surrounding the campus during business hours. Metered and unmetered parking is available on Elm Street, Green Street, Round Hill Road, Henshaw Avenue, Prospect Street, and other city streets close to Smith College campus. There are also several public parking lots and a covered parking garage in downtown Northampton, all within a 10-to-15 minute walk of the Smith College campus.

Parking in these facilities is inexpensive and plentiful. The garage and largest lots are located between Pleasant and Old South Streets. See Northampton parking information & map.

Traveling from afar?

Special Collections--College Archives, the Mortimer Rare Book Collection, and the Sophia Smith Collection--are located on the 2nd floor of Young Library.

Click here for directions to Smith, transportation options, local accommodations, restaurants, and more. Let us know if you have any further questions.