Responding to a canon of criticism of Chicago that dates back at least to the mid-twentieth century (and a recent contribution to which came from Rachel Shteir in the New York Times), writers Thomas Dyja and Neil Steinberg will debate Chicago as the Second City and its place in American history and culture.
The collections contain extensive materials on the history of Chicago and the Midwest, including its growth, politics, and eclectic inhabitants.
The Newberry collection for religion focuses on sources from Europe and the Americas, from the late Middle Ages through the early 20th century.
The Newberry collects on western European music to the early twentieth century, American music to the mid-twentieth, and on musical life in Chicago.
The Newberry’s collection on the history of printing and the book arts is one of the world’s leading collections in its field.
From the Stacks
The Great War marked a pivotal shift in the lives of African Americans. As American industry ramped up to meet wartime demands and droves of young people joined the U.S. military, new economic opportunities drew hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the South to industrial centers in the North. Between 1916 and 1920, during what became known as the Great Migration, 50,000 black southerners relocated to Chicago, where they accounted for 20 percent of the wartime meat-packing labor force (to take just one example).
Though automobiles were already, by the 1920s, becoming the preferred form of transportation for short trips between American cities, trains remained the most convenient and efficient way to cover larger distances. The railroads preserved their competitive advantage in this area in part through the promotion of tourism.