The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Libraries beyond Snell: 3 spaces for final studies

Curtis DeSmith
Two visitors climb the Grand Staircase at the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building in awe. Over 2 million people visited the Boston Public Library’s 25 locations in 2023.

With finals season in full swing and Northeastern’s Snell Library partially closed down for renovations, it can be difficult for students to find a quiet place to study for exams without worrying about finding a seat.

Fortunately, Boston is home to dozens of libraries with their doors wide open for student use. With public study halls and enclosed lounges, there are endless spots in quiet settings for students to prepare for finals in. As the end of the semester approaches, it is important to keep active by getting a change of scenery — something Boston’s rich selection of libraries can help with.


The Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library Central location, built as a “palace for the people,” remains one of the most unique libraries in Boston. Located only three stops down the Green Line from Northeastern at Copley Square, the Central Library illuminates students’ thinking with its grand architectural style and academic aesthetic. The library provides the public with access to books, movies, technologies and a variety of other media; your final project’s last source could be waiting for you here! Additionally, visitors can enjoy cafés, such as the Map Room Lounge, or courtyard seating for a unique studying experience.

The Boston Public Library, or BPL, is not confined to just one building. With 26 branches located across Greater Boston, there is almost one public library for each neighborhood, from the North End to Mission Hill.


The Dowse Library

The Massachusetts Historical Society, or MHS, is a colonial-era library open to the public. Located in the Fenway neighborhood on Boylston Street, the MHS provides access to historical archives upon request. Holding works dating back to colonial Boston by notable historical figures, history buffs will find no better place to get research done.

“As the oldest historical society in the country, we have a large archive of historical documents for educational use,” said Elaine Heavey, the library’s director.

Visitors can explore historical exhibitions, read library contents or work in peace in the Dowse Library. The library hosts a collection donated by Thomas Dowse, a 19th-century American book collector, consisting primarily of English and foreign literature. The space reflects its donor’s lifelong passion for books and learning with its classical furniture and fine craftsmanship.


The Northeastern Law Library

If you wish to stay close to Northeastern’s campus, look no further than the Law Library, located in the Asa S. Knowles Center. Here, law students can find an abundance of sourceable texts in both physical and digital forms. With books varying in topics from climate change to foreign policy, the library can be a reliable source of information when writing lengthy papers. Quiet study zones, couches and bookshelves also make for a relaxed session in an academic setting.

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