James Springer White (August 4, 1821 – August 6, 1881), for whom the James White Library is named, was an organizer, publicist, writer and editor, preacher, and intense searcher of the Bible. He was a founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1863 and also of Battle Creek College, now Andrews University, in 1874. In 1850 White established and became first editor of the Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald , which became the general church paper of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is still being published under the name Adventist Review . He also served several times as president of the fledgling General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

The dedicatory plaque on the front of the James White Library says, "His faith, resourcefulness and energy, his arduous labor and fidelity to the revealed will of God activated the youth of his day and left a rich legacy of enduring leardership to succeeding generations."