Development Events | Newberry

Development Events

David Spadafora speaks to guests at the 2011 Newberry Library Award Dinner.

David Spadafora speaks to guests at the 2011 Newberry Library Award Dinner.

The Newberry hosts a number of events for those individuals who help make the programs and activities of the Newberry possible through their generous donations. For a list of upcoming events, please see the bottom of this page.

The Newberry Library Award Dinner

The Newberry Library Award, the highest honor that the Newberry bestows, is awarded at this annual event. It recognizes achievement in the humanities in the tradition of the Newberry, which has cultivated the life of the mind across more than a century. In conferring the award, the Newberry honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the humanities, particularly in fields of endeavor related to the library’s collections and activities. Recent recipients of the Newberry Library Award include Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian at Harvard, and Jonathan Spence, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University.

Book Fair Preview Night

Open exclusively to Newberry Associates at the Author level or higher, Junior Associates, and President’s Fellows, Book Fair Preview Night opens the doors to the annual Book Fair to the Newberry’s supporters for an exciting chance to shop the thousands of used books for sale before the general public.

Associates Night

Current Annual Fund donors at the $50 level or higher are invited to our annual Associates Night in recognition of their generous support. Guests are treated to remarks by president and librarian David Spadafora, as well as a talk by a Newberry scholar. Topics discussed at past Associate Night events include Chicago as a center for modernist art and literature in the first half of the twentieth century and “The Play’s the Thing: 400 Years of Shakespeare on Stage.”

Curator’s Gallery Walk

Enjoy a Newberry exhibition before it opens to the public and learn about the treasures on display by the exhibit’s curators. President’s Fellows and Newberry Associates at the Humanists level and above are invited to join these intimate events in appreciation of their support. Recent receptions have given donors unique access to such exhibitions as “Treasures of Faith: Twenty Years of Acquisitions” and “Politics, Piety, and Poison: French Pamphlets, 1600–1800.”

Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Have you ever wanted to enter the Newberry’s Stack Building, gain access to the vault where some of the Newberry’s most precious items are housed, or get an up-close-and-personal look at the work of our conservation staff? President’s Fellows and Newberry Associates at the Scholars level are invited to do just that at our annual Behind-the-Scenes Tour. Donors are given access to areas of the Newberry that the general public never see, and are guided through the library by Newberry staff members.

President’s Reception

In appreciation of their support, president and librarian David Spadafora invites our President’s Fellows and benefactors to this annual reception and program where guests receive a “state of the library” address and are provided a special look into research being done at the Newberry. Past events have featured talks by 2011 Arthur and Lila Weinberg fellow Richard Cahan and Newberry fellow Scott Reynolds Nelson.

Conversation with President Spadafora

As leadership donors to the Newberry Annual Fund, President’s Fellows are invited to an intimate evening with President David Spadafora and members of the Newberry’s Board of Trustees. This is a unique opportunity to learn about the various projects happening at the Newberry and get an insider’s view as to how your Annual Fund support is bettering the Newberry now and into the future.

Blatchford Society Luncheon

The annual Blatchford Society Luncheon recognizes and thanks members who, by including the Newberry in their estate plans, support the future of one of the world’s great research libraries in the humanities. Members are invited to the annual luncheon, which features a lecture related to our renowned collections, and receive a keepsake of the event. Past Blatchford Society Luncheons have included talks by Paul Gehl, Custodian of John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing, and food historian Penelope Bingham.

Society of Collectors

Members of the Society of Collectors make annual contributions for the acquisition of items for the Newberry’s collections. Two or three times a year, members are invited to a reception and presentation on recent acquisitions, at which they have the opportunity to learn about these important pieces from experts in various fields of study. Members have heard talks on subjects ranging from “Treasures of Magdalen College Library” to “Writing on the Water: Ben Hecht’s Archive at the Newberry and Script Writing in Hollywood.”

Other opportunities for Newberry donors and benefactors may become available. To learn more about supporting the Newberry and these special events, please contact Jo Anne Moore, Associate Director of Development Events, at (312) 255-3556 or via email at

Upcoming Events

Thursday, March 3, 2016
Across the Collections: History of Printing at the Newberry
By Invitation Only
Members of the Society of Collectors and other special guests are cordially invited for drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a talk by Paul Gehl, the Newberry’s Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
By Invitation Only
In appreciation for their support of the Newberry Annual Fund, Newberry Associates, and President’s Fellows are invited to Associates Night. Erin-Marie Legacey will present a talk titled “A Revolution for the Dead.” Professor Legacey’s work at the Newberry as Andrew W.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Meg and Mark Hausberg, and Karla Scherer and Harve Ferrill, 2016 Newberry Library Award Dinner Co-Chairs, and the Newberry Library Board of Trustees invite you to attend The 2016 Newberry Library Award Dinner honoring The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its outstanding contributions to the humanities.