Getting Your Reader's Card | Newberry

Getting Your Reader's Card

The Newberry welcomes researchers into the reading rooms who are at least 14 years old (or in the ninth grade) and curious about the humanities.

The reading rooms are open by appointment only. Appointments are now required to ensure social distancing and to allow staff to clean high-touch surfaces and equipment and to quarantine collection items after use. Appointment requests must be made at least five business days in advance of your visit. Please submit a request for an appointment using this form.

If you’re doing research with us for the first time, welcome! Creating a reader account and requesting collection items takes just a few minutes. Please visit https://requests.newberry.org to get started.

When you visit the Newberry after creating your reader account online, you’ll complete your registration by obtaining a reader’s card in our Welcome Center on the first floor. To receive your reader’s card, all you’ll need are a valid photo ID, proof of current home address, and a research interest that is supported by the Newberry’s collections.

To create a reader account onsite, please do so Tuesday through Friday, during reading room Hours, in the Herget Welcome Center on the first floor. There is no fee for a reader’s card, or for use of the library generally, although researchers do pay for photoduplication services. As an independent research library that is free and open to the public, the Newberry relies on the generous support of readers and friends to build, preserve, and provide access to our collections. Donations are welcomed and appreciated.

Acceptable forms of photo ID include:

  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Student ID
  • Passport

Acceptable proof of current home address include:

  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Utility bill
  • Paystub
  • Personal check

Research Interests

The Newberry’s collections focus on the humanities, which is a broad category of academic disciplines that includes history, literature, art, foreign languages and cultures, music, philosophy, and religion. If you are unsure whether the library’s collections suit your research interests, please check our Online Catalog, browse our Core Collections, view Research Guides to topics covered in our collections, or Contact a Librarian.

Researchers under the Age of 14

The Newberry encourages researchers under the age of 14 (or younger than freshmen in high school) to email or call the reference staff with questions. Although the reading rooms are not open to younger researchers, the Newberry’s email and phone reference service is available to everyone. In many cases, the reference staff may be able to suggest other libraries, resources, or websites that are appropriate to your research. Contact a Librarian for more information.