The need for an interdisciplinary environmental library collection became apparent early in the history of the Center for Environmental Studies. The library started with books and documents shelved in three wooden bookcases in an office in the Center’s initial home, the Van Rensselaer Mansion – where Sawyer Library now stands.
When the Center moved to Kellogg House in 1978, the library was put on the porch.
In 1982, a fund created in memory of CES graduate Matt Cole ’80 by his family created a self-supporting endowment for the library, which was then named the Matt Cole Memorial Library. These funds also supported the renovation of the Center’s living room into a library reading room.
In 2007-08, in an effort to consolidate all College Libraries, The Matt Cole Collection was moved to Sawyer and Schow libraries. All books from the collection, and new books purchased, are now housed in these two libraries. All of the Matt Cole Library offerings can be found on the computerized catalog, FRANCIS, which can be accessed via the Williams College Libraries home page.