Special Collections Research & Collections

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Working with a student in the Alumnae Gym

Smith College Special Collections contain rich resources for historical and archival research. Our collections include many primary sources, which provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. Please see our Find Primary Sources research guide for more information about primary source resources available at Smith.

Because of their uniqueness and fragility our materials do not circulate, but are available in our reading rooms to anyone who can provide photo identification and is willing to abide by the regulations.

For those unable to visit, the staff regularly responds to questions by phone, mail, and email.

Use the links below to find information on our collections and reference services (in person or from a distance); how to search our online catalog and finding aids; and other resources for doing primary source research in the three branches of Smith College Special Collections and elsewhere.

Sophia Smith Collection

Collections - alphabetical lists, periodicals, collections by subject, finding aids, and more
Digital Collections (SSC) - images, online exhibitions, oral histories, streaming media and more
Doing Research - reference services, searching SSC collections, grants for researchers, citation guides, and more

College Archives

Collections - administrative records, biographical records, academic life, student life, buildings and grounds
Digital Collections (College Archives) - Documents, images, oral histories, exhibitions, publications, and more.
Finding Smith History Materials - catalog records, finding aids, research guides, and more

Mortimer Rare Book Room

Collections - books, manuscripts
Digital Collections (Mortimer Rare Book Room) - exhibitions, images, and more.
Reference Services - reference assistance, instruction

More Smith Libraries' Resources

Research - Library resources by subject, type, and title.
Primary Sources - information about finding and using primary sources with links to more primary source resources