Proactive collection development is paramount to the Newberry’s mission of serving research in the humanities. Each potential acquisition the library considers is intensely scrutinized with the goal of selecting unusual and evocative books and manuscripts most likely to challenge opinions, expand knowledge, kindle the imagination, and stimulate original research.
Case DC165 .E85
This is an illustrated almanac that depicts important French Revolutionary scenes of 1789. An extremely rare and beautiful document, its other illustrations include the procession opening the Estates General in May 1789.
Case Wing miniature PC2115 .S48 1830
An anonymous artist's manual for children. Among its six color plates are three images depicting the art of engraving and printing with movable type.
Ayer AY64 .M245 1865
The Magnetic Almanac, a rare Civil War-era medical almanac, includes all the typical content of such publications. But it includes an elaborate six-page advertisement written in the form of a captivity narrative. The "Rescue of Tula" describes Dr. Cunard's rescue of the Aztec princess from the Navajos. His reward is the secret of the Mountain Herb Pills that “will purify and cleanse as sure as the sun will rise to-morrow.”
Ayer folio F 785.3 .J65 1890
This rare travel guide for points between Louisiana and Southern California, was apparently published by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. It is a good example of the type of travel and description literature that is found within the Ayer Collection and throughout the Library. It also complements our three major railroad archives.
Vault Case Wing oversize RG 520 .H9 1774
John Baskerville was the most distinguished private printer of the eighteenth century. The Newberry's collection of his publications is excellent. This volume of great import for the history of medical illustration fills an important lacuna.
Midwest MS 59
A group of 5 photographs made in the immediate aftermath of the Chicago fire of 1871. The photos were made from small negatives printed on thin paper, with manuscript annotations on the verso possibly by Eliza Allen Starr, Chicago artist and author. One of them shows a greenhouse, which survived the fire. The image on the left is of the First Presbyterian Church on Wabash.
VAULT Case G5753.N4 1793 .C37
This unrecorded map puzzle was created by one of the major English children's book publishers of the early nineteenth century from an eighteenth-century printed map of the county of Norfolk, laminated onto wood and cut into puzzle pieces. It is housed in its original box and complements other map games and puzzles in the Newberry's collections.
Vault oversize Inc 1998
The first illustrated edition of De Lyra's exposition of the literal historical meaning of Scripture, the most popular commentary on the Bible in the late Middle Ages. De Lyra (c. 1270-1349), a Franciscan friar and probably of Jewish birth, drew heavily from rabbinic sources, notably Rashi (d. 1105) not only for textual content, but also illustrations. In the sixteenth century, De Lyra's radical political views won him favor among German and French Protestants.