Calling at the Newberry

A fellow genealogist from another part of the country recently asked about the Newberry Library in Chicago. They wanted to know what it was like, and if it was a really cool place to do research. Oh, yes. There is something soothing about walking up marble steps worn with the footsteps of generations of people seeking knowledge.

The Newberry, founded in 1887, is a private library with a focus on the humanities.  Collections include books, maps, manuscripts, and microfilm. Researchers access the Newberry’s collections free of charge, but donations are welcome. The present building opened in 1893.

The Newberry reports having over 1.5 million books, and over triple that number of manuscripts. The library operates on a closed stack system. Visitors request desired items, which are delivered to the researcher’s assigned seat.  A paper call slip system is currently used, but the Newberry’s website reports that they will switch to a computer request system in May 2015. Read more about the upcoming computer call system on the Newberry Library’s website.

The Newberry has a Genealogy Blog.

Don’t miss their Digital Resources and Publications , Genealogy and Local History, and Chicago and the Midwest pages when you drop in virtually.

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