The Department of Maps & Modern Manuscript’s recent cataloging of previously unprocessed materials in the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad archives yielded duplicate items that have been deaccessioned from the Newberry’s collection. The duplicates have found a new home (for the moment, anyway) in the Newberry Bookstore, where Manager Jennifer Fastwolf has arrayed them on a wide-mouthed stand along the checkout counter, in individual plastic sleeves.
On July 7 four librarians from Myanmar, along with two Northern Illinois University (NIU) professors, visited the Newberry. NIU, which has a strong Southeast Asia studies program and the only Center for Burma Studies in the United States, has been active in forging partnerships with academic and cultural institutions in Myanmar as the country emerges from decades of military rule. One part of its intellectual infrastructure that Myanmar intends to buttress is library administration and the preservation of library materials.
This July and August, graduate students from the 20 colleges and universities composing the Newberry Consortium in American Indian Studies (NCAIS) will participate in the summer institute “Recording the Native Americas: Indigenous Speech, Representation, and the Politics of Writing.” The month-long event commences the D'Arcy McNickle Center's scholarly programs under the direction of Patricia Marroquin Norby.
John Brady, the Newberry's director of Reader Services and curator of Americana, will leave the library this month. John has led a team of librarians and librarian assistants while planning, providing for, and coordinating services for readers, scholars participating in Newberry programs, staff, and remote users; as a curator, he collected current monographs, antiquarian books, and manuscript Americana to augment a strong repository in the field.
In an event held May 5, the Newberry bestowed on Roger Baskes its most prestigious award, the Newberry Library Award. Established in 1987, the library’s centennial year, the award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the humanities, particularly in fields of endeavor related to the Newberry’s collection. Mr. Baskes is the thirteenth person to be so honored.
On Saturday, May 10, the Newberry received the 2014 Distinguished Service Award from the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. First bestowed in 2013, the Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual or organization who has demonstrated extraordinary service and leadership in advancing the mission of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts to ensure that children and dance artists have a place to study, work, and perform at the highest level of excellence.
To mark The Bard’s birthday—April 23—and celebrate his work, the Newberry has partnered with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and The Shakespeare Project of Chicago to host a small but spectacular exhibition featuring more than 40 items from the three institutions. “The Bard Is Born” will be open April 22 through June 21. It will focus in part on Henry V, the first play performed—on the roof of the Red Lion Pub—by Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and the one being performed there April 29 through June 15 of this year.
In 1998, Julia Miller began the monumental task of sifting through notes and observations made during her 30-year career as an archivist and book conservator, then sat down to write. The resultant Books Will Speak Plain (The Legacy Press 2010) is a 500-page handbook aimed at conservators, collectors, librarians, and book lovers, for the identification and description of book structures and styles.
On Monday, February 17, the Newberry will close owing to a recently planned, day-long shutdown of the building’s water supply. The shutdown is part of the city of Chicago’s water-main installation taking place on Walton between Dearborn and Clark streets. City officials assured the library that the water shutdown will take one day only. Barring any unforeseen events, the Newberry will re-open as usual Tuesday, February 18.
The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has awarded the Newberry $216,100 to bring 29,800 additional items into the library’s John M. Wing Collection, one of the world’s best collections on book arts and printing history. Backlogged for a decade or more and dating from 1605 to the present, materials in this “hidden collection” include examples of type and printing, ballad sheets, advertising posters, direct mail pieces, and books, both beautiful and homely, of all periods.