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The Little Chapel

Little Chapel in the Library, c1945.


The new wing of the Library added not only a general core of books stacks, carrels, and faculty offices, but also a chapel. This was the first space on campus specifically designed for religious worship.

Smith College Dedication of the Chapel program, 1 November 1937.


The Chapel, more informally known as the “Little Chapel,” was dedicated November 1, 1937. In his address at that ceremony President Neilson said the space “is for joint worship in small groups by people who feel and think with us, or who are seeking a common object. But it is also—and perhaps more characteristically—meant for meditation and prayer.”

Architectural drawing for chapel in the library, c1936.


The Chapel seated about 75 people and included a choir stall for eight singers, a small electric organ, pews, and devotional books. It was used for religious services, including weddings and baptisms, until the Helen Hills Hills Chapel was built in 1955. The space was then remodeled for the Library’s catalog department and faculty offices.

Interior of College Library Chapel, November 1941.
Bookplate for the Little Chapel, Smith College, Hymns for Worship.
Devotions Offered By Little Chapel, 30 October 1951.