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The Amherst College Library
The Robert Frost Library, the main library at the College, stands in the center of campus and supports your Amherst education in many ways. The library has an excellent collection of books, journals, databases, films, CDs and other materials, and you can easily borrow materials from the Five Colleges and libraries nationwide. Subject librarians work with faculty to teach research in classes, and help is always available at the reference desk or online. Archives and Special Collections houses Amherst College's rare books, manuscripts, student theses and materials that document the College and its history. The Frost Library offers many spaces for quiet study and collaborative work areas, plus a cafe with comfortable seating, food and drinks and a new added balcony.
The library’s website guides you to catalogs, databases — with full-text articles from newspapers, popular and scholarly journals, images, streaming media and more — government publications, digital collections, primary sources and freely available resources selected by librarians. Our research guides can get you started, point you to subject-specific databases, or give you the contact information for the appropriate librarian.
The main Robert Frost Library, Keefe Science Library and Vincent Morgan Music Library together house a collection of well over 1 million volumes. They maintain subscriptions to thousands of journals in print and online. The library adds roughly 20,000 volumes, DVDs, CDs, databases and other resources to its collection every year.
Beyond the Amherst campus, the books in the other Five College libraries (Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire and the University of Massachusetts Amherst) are available to Amherst students in person or by request through the Five College Libraries Catalog.
When the College is in session, the Frost Library is open from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday. During the final exam period each semester, the Science Library remains open 24 hours. Up-to-date hours for all libraries are posted here.
You can check out materials with your student ID at the circulation desk. Books usually circulate for a month (thesis students get extended loans) and can be renewed online or in person; DVDs can be borrowed for 5 days. Print journals do not normally circulate.
Faculty members put books, films, articles and other materials on reserve for courses at the Frost, Music and Science libraries or on e-reserve in course pages.
Fines are charged for recalled books not returned by their due dates and for reserve materials returned late. Details are on the library’s website (under “the fine print”).
The Frost Library building has six floors for research and study. Computers located primarily on the first floor and on Level A provide access to the catalog and online resources on campus. Wireless access is available throughout the building. Individual study carrels, tables and whiteboards are scattered throughout Frost, and a number of rooms are available — on a first-come, first-served basis — for small groups to work together. Lockers for books and personal items can be reserved for a semester at the circulation desk on the main floor.
The Amherst College library also includes the following special subject-oriented branch libraries:
Vincent Morgan Music Library is located on the second floor of the Arms Music Center. The library contains an extensive collection of recordings, scores and books on music and includes a number of listening stations.
The Keefe Science Library is located on the third floor of Merrill Science Center. It houses a core collection of books, recent journals and electronic resources in astronomy, physics, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, geology, neuroscience and biology.