Donor Digest | Newberry

Donor Digest

Stories of the successes and innovations made possible by the generosity of the Newberry’s donors.

Two Months Reopened

As of August 25, 2020, readers, exhibition attendees, fellows, and scholars-in-residence are back at 60 West Walton, engaging with our collection, conducting research, and connecting past to present.

Your support through the pandemic continues to be crucial to our ability to care for the collection and maintain the staff, spaces, and resources that make it accessible. Below are some statistics and images to help you visualize the first two months of our building’s reopening.

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Library Assistant Stuart Fraser staffs the Special Collections Reading Room while a researcher works with collection materials.

The Reading Rooms

To ensure that staff and readers are able to socially distance and observe other safety protocols while in our reading rooms, we’ve asked readers to make appointments in advance of their visits. This allows our staff to manage the number of people in each space, clean high-touch surfaces, and quarantine materials as needed. You can read more about appointments and make one here.

362 reading room visits

134 unique readers

45 first-time readers

1,039 items circulated

We’re particularly excited that so many new readers are using the collections. And for those readers who are still unable to visit, our librarians are again able to photograph collection materials and send them to patrons digitally.

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Ayer Indigenous Studies Librarian Analú López photographs a collection item in the Special Collections Reading Room.

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Newberry Controller Toni Matthews dons a Newberry mask while working at her desk.

The Exhibitions

No need to make an appointment to visit the Newberry’s two fall exhibitions, Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s “Nova Reperta” and Decision 1920: A Return to “Normalcy”. Galleries are open Tuesday through Friday, 12 to 4 pm, with reduced capacity to ensure that visitors can get close to the items on display without getting close to each other.

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Exhibition visitors stop by this check-in table to write down their contact information and use some hand sanitizer before entering the galleries.

372 visitors

15 small-group, in-person tours

5 associated virtual public programs

3 virtual tours aired live on social media

1 virtual trivia night

As the statistics above indicate, these exhibitions provide opportunity to explore in person while continuing to maintain robust virtual programming. In addition to the 372 people who have visited the galleries, more than 5,000 have engaged with exhibition themes and content through virtual public programs, virtual tours, supplementary video resources, and interactive websites.

To learn more and engage with these exhibitions yourself, please visit the Renaissance Invention launch page and the Decision 1920 launch page, as well as our social media. Renaissance Invention and Decision 1920 will be on view through November 25.

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Ana Beleval (left) of WGN-TV joins Lia Markey (right), Director of the Newberry’s Center for Renaissance Studies, for a live tour of Renaissance Invention. Here, they examine Hernán Cortés’s 1524 map of Tenochtitlan, one of the first European representations of what is now Mexico City. Watch the segment here.

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Paul Durica, Director of Exhibitions, takes audiences on a live virtual tour of Decision 1920. A recording of this tour is available to watch on-demand on YouTube.

The Newberry’s activities, from its physical reopening to its continued virtual programming, are made possible by donors like you. Thank you for being our partner in this important work.

This story is part of the Newberry’s Donor Digest, Fall 2020. In this newsletter the Newberry shares with its donors exciting stories of the success and innovation made possible by their generosity. Learn more about supporting the library and its programs.

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