The Lear Center holds over 100 distinct collections of archives and manuscript materials, books, and art. Strengths include the history of Connecticut College, environmental and conservation movements, American women's history, local history and literature, the history of the book, fine press printing and artists’ books, and children's literature.

Explore our different areas below or browse collections by subject.

Giving to the Linda Lear Center

The Linda Lear Center staff work closely with donors to identify materials appropriate for adding to our collections. When possible, donors are encouraged to provide an inventory or overall summary of the collection for staff review. After the staff and the donor have agreed in principle that the materials are appropriate for preserving in the Lear Center, they will make arrangements to have the materials transported to the Lear Center, where they will be accessioned and stored for processing, arrangement, and description by the staff.

The legal transfer of the materials from the donor to the College occurs when the donor reviews and signs a Deed of Gift agreement. The agreement formally transfers ownership of the materials to the College. Connecticut College and the Lear Center cannot invest materials and labor in the care of collections that it does not own. Therefore, we cannot accept materials on deposit or loan.

If you have materials that you are interested in donating to the Lear Center, please contact the director, Benjamin Panciera.  For donations of College related materials, please consult the College Archives collection guidelines and contact the archivist, Deborah Kloiber.

Art Collections

The Lear Center is responsible for the maintenance of the Campus Art Collection, most of which is distributed across campus. In addition to the Campus Art Collection, the Lear Center also houses several smaller collections.

College Archives

The College Archives documents the history and activities of Connecticut College from its founding to the present day. Holdings include official records, photographs, publications, and personal papers of students and faculty. 

Digital Collections

Our digital collections include digitized and born-digital materials from across the Lear Center's holdings, including archives and manuscript collections, rare books, art, and Connecticut College publications.

Rare Books

The Lear Center has approximately 24,000 rare books with strengths in the history of the book, children's literature, American literature and travel, fine press printing, and artists' books. These collections are cataloged and available through the library's OneSearch

Special Collections and Manuscripts

The Manuscripts Collections at Connecticut College contain important materials in the fields of environmental history, women’s history, military history, as well as local history.  Some of the notable collections in the Lear Center focus on Rachel Carson, Eugene O’Neill, Beatrix Potter, Frances Perkins, Prudence Crandall, Alice Hamilton, and Belle Moskowitz.