Group Visits for Genealogists | Newberry

Group Visits for Genealogists

Examining genealogy artifacts.

Visitors examine genealogy artifacts on microfilm.

Genealogy materials viewed on microfilm.

Genealogical societies, historical societies, libraries, and other related groups are encouraged to arrange group visits to the Newberry to use the Genealogy and Local History collection. The following guidelines are designed to help your group prepare for a productive visit to the Newberry, one of the premier sites for genealogical research in the country.

Scheduling Your Visit

Due to limited space and microform equipment, the maximum group size is 25 people. To best prepare for and serve your group, and to avoid multiple bookings of groups, we ask that you contact the Newberry as soon as you begin to plan your visit. A two-week notice is required, and a four-week notice is recommended. To schedule a visit, fill out the Group Visit Request Form.

When scheduling your visit, you may choose from the following options for your group.

Lecture, “Genealogical Research at the Newberry Library”: To start your visit, a Genealogy and Local History staff member will welcome your group and present a 45-minute lecture and question/answer session before registering for reader’s cards. This lecture is subject to staff availability; group visit and/or other fees may apply. Staff members may also be available to present this lecture or others to groups in the area.

Independent Group Research: Experienced research groups can proceed on their own directly to the third floor to register for reader’s cards and then to the General Reading Room to begin their research. Advance notice of groups greater than 10 people is required and is subject to staff availability. This is to ensure that adequate reference assistance is available.

Other requests will be accommodated when possible.

Preparing for Your Visit

We encourage all members of your group to explore the Newberry’s website before visiting. Pay special attention to the following areas:

For group members who do not have Internet access, a packet of handouts can be mailed to the group’s leader. Ask for these information packets when scheduling a visit.

Day of Your Visit

We ask that all group members who do not already have valid Newberry reader’s cards register online. The Newberry does not charge researchers. At registration, you will be asked if you would like to make a voluntary donation. Throughout the day, assistance is available to all group members at the Reference Desk in our second-floor reading room. Visitors are required to leave coats, large bags, and any food or drink in lockers in the lobby. See Accommodations and Dining for a list of local restaurants.

Further questions? Contact Matt Rutherford at (312) 255-3671 or