Programs for the Public | Newberry

Programs for the Public

The Newberry organizes and hosts programs illuminating topics in the humanities, through a variety of formats tailored to the subject at hand: lectures, staged readings, music and dance performances, panel discussions, workshops, and more. Some events are part of ongoing series, such as Conversations at the Newberry, Meet the Author talks, Programs for Genealogists, the weekly Newberry Colloquium, and exhibition-related programming; others are signature annual events, such as the Newberry Book Fair and the Bughouse Square Debates. Additional public programming may be sponsored by the Newberry’s Research Centers.

Most Newberry public programs are free. Seating is limited and registration in advance is required for many events; see the individual listings for details.

Many of our programs are recorded, and you can listen to them on our website.

Upcoming Public Programs

Friday, September 20, 2019Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Often called “the Heartland” or “flyover country,” the Midwest tends to be characterized as a homogeneous, barren space between the American coasts. This exhibition challenges the assumptions, stereotypes, and persistent narratives about the Midwest, exploring the confluence of peoples and environmental conditions that has defined the region and made it unique.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
In 1900, Omaha author and Smithsonian ethnologist Francis La Flesche published a memoir of his school days entitled The Middle Five: Indian Boys at School. A book for juvenile readers, La Flesche’s story recounts his childhood at a Presbyterian Missionary School in 1860s Nebraska.
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Dr. Nick Estes (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe), University of New Mexico
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
The 1969 occupation of Alcatraz was a watershed moment for the Red Power movement. It ushered in an era of American Indian protest, and the historic Indigenous-led protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline signaled a rebirth of the Indigenous movement in the twenty-first century.
Thursday, November 21, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's November Meeting
It’s all about “Location, Location, Location” and the word ‘Chicago’ has referred to at least three geographic locations, multiple rivers and creeks, and two portage routes, begging the question, What if our Chicago isn’t really Chicago?
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Jill Metcoff and Mike Mossman
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Jill Metcoff and Mike Mossman will discuss their shared fascination with the Midwestern prairie and the use of intentional fires in maintaining the Midwestern landscape and ecosystem. Bringing together photography, conservation biology, ecology, and personal history, their interdisciplinary work celebrates the union of visual art and scientific method.
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Conversations at the Newberry
Kristin Hoganson and Timothy Gilfoyle
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Kristin Hoganson and Timothy Gilfoyle reflect on the idea of “The Midwest as Place,” offering important revisions to commonplace narratives about midwestern history and identity.
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Programs for Genealogists
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce visitors to the Newberry and explain how to use its collections at an informal orientation. Aimed at researchers new to the library and/or new to genealogical research, this session will last approximately an hour followed by a short tour of the library.
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
First Nations Film and Video Festival
Free and open to the public; registration required
In this engrossing and suspenseful feature film debut by filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean, two teenage boys who have grown up like brothers go about their lives in the comfortable claustrophobia of an isolated Alaskan town.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Chicago's Architectural History in Print
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Join Chicago architecture aficionados Robert Bruegmann, Kim Coventry, John Ronan, and Pauline Saliga to discuss the significant architecture and urban design projects profiled in Chicago by the Book:101 Publications that Shaped the City and Its Image.
Saturday, December 14, 2019
A theatrical reading by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; free tickets required.
Join us for a special holiday-themed morning, with traditional carols, a special holiday performance, and free hot chocolate and treats.
Thursday, December 19, 2019
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's December Meeting
We hope that you will join us for our annual Holiday Gala, which will feature an especially full smorgasbord of holiday treats for your dining and drinking pleasure. We will continue our tradition of pairing this party with our “Members’ Night,” which allows our members to showcase a special item in their personal collections.
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's January Meeting
Take a trip around the planet to discover the cultural and historical backstories behind some of the most unusual international and interstate borders on the map!
Friday, January 24, 2020Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Jun Fujita: American Visionary, copresented by the Newberry Library and the Poetry Foundation, focuses on the extraordinary accomplishments of poet and photojournalist Jun Fujita.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's March Meeting
George Ritzlin, a founding member of the Chicago Map Society, will return with the second half of his two-part presentation on map collecting. In his first presentation, George explained how to determine the authenticity of an antique map and explored the process of paper production, printing, coloring and atlas assembly.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
The Chicago Map Society's April Meeting
Please join us for a special joint presentation between the Chicago Map Society and The Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry. The Newberry Library owns a copy of the 1550 edition of Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia. This book is a groundbreaking description of the world that was published in Basel from 1544 to 1628 by Münster’s stepson Heinrich Petri and his sons.
Saturday, April 18, 2020Friday, July 3, 2020
During a time of globalization, colonization, and warfare, Europeans in the Renaissance embraced new technology even as they lamented its destabilizing consequences.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's May Meeting
The Midwest is a region that’s difficult to define, especially to those that reside outside of America’s heartland. What states are included? Does the idea of the Midwest change over time? What does it mean to be Midwestern? Fellow CMS member Amanda Murphyao explores possible definitions of the region in her presentation on carto-caricatures of the Midwest.
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The Chicago Map Society's June Meeting
In June, we will take our annual field trip to the MacLean Collection in Lake Forest, Illinois. The MacLean Collection is one of the premier map destinations in the United States, with close to 40,000 individual items, and we’re grateful for their generosity in sharing their collection.