About | Newberry

About

A world-renowned independent research library in Chicago, the Newberry builds, preserves, and makes accessible an extensive collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other material spanning more than six centuries.

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Photo by Tom Rossiter

Photo by Tom Rossiter

Free and open to the public since 1887, the Newberry is an independent research library whose world-famous collection is available to scholars, genealogists, and lifelong learners alike. Anyone who is at least 14 years old can sign up for a reader’s card and, in just minutes, have history right at their fingertips–whether it’s in the form of a medieval manuscript, an atlas of hand-colored maps, or a selection of letters between two American authors.

These unique primary sources are part of a vast collection of more than 1.6 million books, 5 million manuscript pages, and 600,000 maps that the Newberry continually preserves, augments, and makes accessible in a variety of ways.

Beyond our reading rooms, the Newberry provides learning opportunities for the intellectually curious through free exhibitions and public programs that include lectures, panel discussions, and theatrical and dance performances.

View our 2017 Annual Report.

Mission and Vision Statement

The Newberry, open to the public without charge, is an independent research library dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, especially in the humanities. The Newberry acquires and preserves a broad array of special collections research materials relating to the civilizations of Europe and the Americas. It promotes and provides for their effective use, fostering research, teaching, publication, and life-long learning, as well as civic engagement. In service to its diverse community, the Newberry encourages intellectual pursuit in an atmosphere of free inquiry and sustains the highest standards of collection preservation, bibliographic access, and reader services.