The Linda Lear Center for Special Collections & Archives is Connecticut College's repository for preserving and promoting some of our rarest and most precious resources for learning and research. With strengths in environmental and women's studies, American history and literature, and fine press printing and artists' books, the Center is open to all students and researchers.

The Lear Center has over 50 book, manuscript and art collections. Premier collections include the Lear-Carson collection, a research archive devoted to Rachel Carson, the Sheaffer-O'Neill Collection of manuscripts, photographs, documents, and early editions of Eugene O'Neill, and children's literature, including the Helen O. Gildersleeve collection of children's literature and the Lear-Potter research archive devoted to Beatrix Potter.

The Lear Center provides spaces for 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.