Smith College has named Maya Lin and Shepley Bulfinch as designers for the Neilson Library renovation. The redesign takes the stance of a methodical plan for a "library of the future." Inspired by the college's global and interdisciplinary culture, the new design will take a flexible, multi-purpose approach to provide a niche for students in various fields and respond to the ever-changing needs of the school. In addition to housing books and digital platforms for students, the library will offer spaces for congregation and studying.
Neilson Library houses some one million print and digital resources, as well as several archival collections—including the Smith College Archives, the Mortimer Rare Book Room, and the Sophia Smith Collection, one of the world’s largest and most important archives of women’s history. One key goal of the Neilson redesign is to create a space that preserves these invaluable historical records while also encouraging new, interdisciplinary methods of learning and research.
The college is in the early stages of studying the needs of the redesign and developing a comprehensive plan for the library’s future. The substantial renovation and reimagining of Neilson will be the college’s largest capital project in the next decade.