In April 1936, Tracy W. McGregor took an extended trip to the University of Virginia, exploring the possibility that his books might one day be given to its Library. But McGregor’s sudden death on May 6, 1936, left matters unresolved. Two years later the McGregor Fund presented the McGregor Library to the University and funded Alderman Library’s elegant McGregor Room as its new home.

Since 1938 the McGregor Fund and the University of Virginia Library have partnered closely to ensure the McGregor Library’s continued vitality. During its first three decades, the McGregor Library was overseen by an Advisory Committee comprised of selected McGregor Fund trustees, University faculty, and experts in rare Americana. Afterwards its management was increasingly entrusted to the Library. Acquisitions and cataloging were funded initially through substantial annual McGregor Fund grants, matched in part by the University. In 1994 the McGregor Fund very generously established a permanent endowed acquisitions fund.

With McGregor Fund support, the McGregor Library has continuously sought to enhance its impact on teaching and research. Scholarly publications have made selected rare books and manuscripts more widely accessible. The McGregor Room has served as the site of innumerable public programs and exhibitions and, following a 2005 renovation, now functions as a popular study space. In 2005 the McGregor Fund inaugurated the annual McGregor Lecture, in which distinguished historians present their work. Today the McGregor Library has entered the digital realm, with various of its books, maps, and manuscripts now freely accessible online.