The Linda Lear Center for Special Collections & Archives is Connecticut College's repository for rare books, manuscripts, the College Archives, and several art collections. These resources are used for classes, exhibitions, and research by students, faculty, staff and independent scholars.

The Lear Center has over 100 book, manuscript and art collections. Strengths include the environmental and conservation movements, American women's history, local history and literature, the history of the book, and children's literature. The College Archives holds materials related to the history of Connecticut College, records of the College's founding, curricular development, publications, the faculty, alumni diaries and scrapbooks, student activities, and historic photographs. Books held by the Lear Center can be searched in the library catalog, OneSearch, and finding aids to processed archival collections are available in ArchivesSpace.

The Lear Center contains spaces for research, instruction, and exhibitions. While primary consideration is given to researchers using Lear Center materials, the reading room may also be used for quiet study. All visiting researchers must present proof of vaccination or a recent (previous 72 hours) negative Covid test.