Visiting the Lear Center


  • Hours when classes are in session: Monday through Friday, 9 to noon and 1 to 5.
  • Hours during summer, winter, and spring breaks: Monday through Friday by appointment only

Planning a Visit

Although the Lear Center can handle walk-ins, we strongly encourage researchers to contact us in advance for an appointment. Please contact individual staff members directly or fill out a research request form.

All users will be required to fill out a registration form (which can be done in advance using the link provided), present school or government-issued identification, and review reading room regulations.

Materials must be used in the reading room. Researchers may have a notebook, laptop, and reference books on the table with materials. All notes must be taken in pencil. Researchers may request to have photocopies or scans made by Lear Center staff. In some cases, with staff permission, they may take photos with their smartphones for their own reference.

Access to Materials

Lear Center collections are stored in closed stacks. All materials are housed on campus, allowing for retrieval in less than 24 hours. In some circumstances we may be able to retrieve items for you while you wait, though it is always best for you to contact us in advance.  This ensures that your materials are ready for you when you arrive.



Lear Center staff will make reproductions of materials for patrons subject to copyright law and the condition of the materials. Staff reserve the right to reject requests when materials are too fragile or when filling the request would take an inordinate amount of staff time.

All digital reproductions will be scanned as either 400dpi JPEGs or PDF, unless otherwise requested. Reproductions will be delivered electronically, unless otherwise requested.


Non-Connecticut College affiliates

  • Photocopies: $0.50/page; minimum $10.00 handling fee
  • Other processing fees may be applicable

Digital images will be delivered via email or secure link, depending on file size. For fees for images from the Rachel Carson collection, please contact Benjamin Panciera.

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish is required to reproduce text or images from Lear Center collections. Please email us with your request to confirm we have access to the materials.  The Permission to Publish form should include the following information:

  • Materials requested
  • Title of the publication/work
  • Author
  • Format (book, exhibition, article, etc)
  • Date of publication (known or anticipated)
  • Distribution (North American, Worldwide)
  • Use (commercial, personal, non-profit)

Please note that in many instances copyright is not held by Connecticut College and researchers are responsible for indentifying the copyright holder and securing permission to reproduce copyrighted materials before publishing. 

Arranging a Visit

Please provide Lear Center staff with at least two weeks' advance notice when arranging a class session in the Center. This allows us to ensure that the items you need are available and that we are prepared to arrange and introduce the materials. Students are encouraged to handle materials, but should make certain that their hands are clean (the Lear Center does not require the use of gloves for handling books and manuscripts). Lear center staff can offer preliminary instruction on the handling of delicate materials.

If you would like to find a way to integrate the use of rare materials into research or class projects, don't hesitate to make an appointment to come in and discuss this with Lear Center staff. In some circumstances it may be possible to digitize materials for further use in the classroom.