Contact a Librarian

Contact the Reference Desk

The Newberry has two reference desks that are open during all hours that the reading rooms are open. Our reference librarians can assist you with searching our catalogs and guides, planning a visit, obtaining a reader’s card, and using our collections in the reading rooms.

Call (312) 255-3512 to reach the Genealogy & Local History Desk, or (312) 255-3506 to reach the main Reference Desk. Please note that most of the Newberry’s materials are housed in a climate-controlled stacks facility adjacent to the main library building, so staff at the reference desks will not be able to provide you with lookups and information on item condition or content on the telephone.

Contact a Librarian Web Form

To reach a reference librarian via email, please use our Contact a Librarian web form. Due to our small staff and the high volume of inquiries we receive, responses to inquiries submitted via web form may take up to 4-6 weeks.

Although the Newberry welcomes your questions, our staff is not able to conduct extensive research. See our list of independent researchers who can be hired for complex queries or genealogical research.

For questions about rights and reproductions, email