Renovated in fall 2008, the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections brings together for the first time the resources of the library's rare books and special collections with the College's archives. The Center combines closed work areas and stacks with their own climate control systems with two refurbished public spaces.
The new Lear Center reading room has three tables for quiet or collaborative research and can accommodate up to fourteen readers. The reading room also houses a reference collection for printing history and rare book librarianship and space to exhibit items from the department's collection of art work. Four exhibition cases in the halls outside of the Lear Center host rotating displays from the book and manuscript collections, while a single case within the reading room contains examples from the department's substantial collection of illustrated children's and artists' books.
The renovated Palmer Room houses most of the original donation from the Palmer Library and may be used for seminars and meetings. The room has been equipped with a projector and screen for multimedia presentations.