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Little Chapel

Little Chapel in the Library c1937

Little Chapel in the Library c1937

The chapel in the library, fondly called (the) “Little Chapel,” was dedicated in an evening service on November 1, 1937. It was built into the then-new north wing of the library in response to a perceived need for a space dedicated solely of religious worship and meditation in the face of the increasing secularization of the daily “chapel service” in John M. Greene Hall. Despite some slight initial resistance to such a space being located in the library, the Little Chapel became a cherished Smith institution. It was furnished and equipped almost entirely with funds donated by alumnae and friends of the college, and was used not only for daily services and individual religious practice, but also for a large number of student and alumnae weddings. In 1955, upon completion of the Helen Hills Hills Chapel, the Trustees voted to the give the space occupied by the Little Chapel to the library and, to the chagrin of the college community, the chapel was dismantled.

The Little Chapel was located at the far end of the 1937 north addition, and was two stories in height. It was finished in walnut with a dark blue carpet in the center aisle and a pale blue silk wall hanging in the chancel (behind the altar). The chancel ceiling was gilded, and the candlesticks and other accoutrements were in gold or brass.

Sara Street, Archives Assistant, 2001

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