In the months leading up to the opening of Connecticut College in 1915, the Board of Trustees formed a library committee to start the difficult work of building a library from scratch. They located the Library in room 310 of New London Hall and set aside funds to begin building the collection. Their work would have amounted to very little, however, without the generous contributions of institutions and individuals from across Connecticut.

The first donation of approximately 200 volumes was from the Blackstone Library of Branford. This was soon followed by the library of Thomas Harland of Norwich, which consisted of 2,000 books and was described at the time as "the backbone of the library." Over the course of that first academic year, a total of 5,000 books were added to the collection, most by donation. Other major contributors featured in this exhibit include the Yale College Library, former Yale dean Henry P. Wright, and the Wesleyan Alumnae Association. Their contributions formed the core of the College's teaching and research collection for the following decades and paint a picture of the intellectual atmosphere at Connecticut College in its earliest days.