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Smith Rare Book Room

A room full of rare and unusual books not available for circulation outside its own walls.


The Beginnings: The Four Smith Brothers


Three of the Smith brothers, Egbert, Charles, and Henry, bicycling through Europe.

Their fourth brother, Hay, was missing out on all the fun. 

The second floor of the E.H. Little Library at Davidson College houses the Smith Rare Book Room, an elegant room filled with handsome furniture, beautiful rugs and the library's unique, rare, and unusual book collections. The room was named in honor of four brothers, Dr. Henry Louis Smith, Dr. Egbert Watson Smith, Dr. Charles Alphonso Smith and Dr. Hay Watson Smith, all graduates of Davidson College. C. Alphonso Smith, Jr. provided funds for the decoration and dedication of the original Smith Rare Book Room in Grey Memorial Library. The same name was given to E.H. Little Library's rare book room in grateful recognition of the continued interest, support, and devotion Davidson College has received from the Smith family. 

As the permanent repository of all rare books belonging to Davidson College, the Smith Rare Book Room contains those books, which because of physical condition or rarity, require additional security. Both the bookcases and the room are kept locked and the permission of a member of Archives, Special Collections & Community (ASCC) is required for admittance into the room. Access to the collections is available by contacting and arranging a time to visit the room.

More than three thousand books are located in the Smith Rare Book Room. All books in the room are non-circulating materials, which differ from the library's main circulation collections because of their unique nature or value. Books are available for use by visiting scholars and the general public, as well as Davidson's faculty, staff, and students. 

In addition to rare books, the room also happens to have a lot of unique furniture like the original wooden table from 1835 on which the resolution that founded Davidson College was written or an antique clock tower and 1700 William and Mary Inlaid Walnut Secretary both from the Horton Collection.

Take a look inside the Smith Rare Book Room:

Main entrance
Fireplace and Chair
Plaque in Memory of Smith Brothers
Antique Chairs and Table in Reigner Room

Guide Contents

 In this Guide:
Precious Collections

Open Book ClipArtFind details about our special collections and rare items in the Smith Rare Book Room.



Walking Stick PersonWhether students, staff, faculty, or visitor, whether for purposes in or out of the classroom, anyone is welcome to schedule an appointment. 


Gift Box

 Contribute an item to the Smith Rare Book Room.

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Davidson College Library, Box 7200, 209 Ridge Rd., Davidson, NC 28035-7200
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