Every period of American history—from New World encounters to the Civil War to the Chicago literary renaissance and beyond—is well represented in the Newberry’s collections. Over many decades of collection development, the Newberry has built up an extensive array of archival materials, monographs, periodicals, ephemera, and rare, idiosyncratic works. For materials from the mid-eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, see Modern Manuscript Abstracts.
The Dr. William M. Scholl Center for American History and Culture promotes research in the Newberry’s collections in American History, Literature, and Culture, including its seminar series across an array of disciplinary fields. Additionally, Newberry librarians have compiled Research Guides containing bibliographies, checklists, and other resources to aid in research.
Subject strengths include:
- American Literature
- Discovery and Exploration of the Americas
- History of the Colonial Period, Revolutionary Era, and Early Republic
- Western Americana - see Westward Expansion
- Civil War and Reconstruction
- African-American Studies
Published descriptions of the Newberry’s collections in American history and culture are listed in American History – Publications about the Newberry Library Collections. Please call the reference desk at (312) 255-3506 with questions on our holdings, or Contact a Librarian with research questions.