About | Newberry



Photo by Tom Rossiter

Photo by Tom Rossiter

The Newberry collection is a portal to more than 600 years of human history, from the 15th century to the present. We connect researchers and visitors with our collection in the Newberry’s reading rooms, exhibition galleries, program spaces, classrooms, and online digital resources.

Since its founding in 1887, the Newberry has remained dedicated to deepening our collective understanding of ourselves and the world around us. As individuals engage with Newberry collections and staff, they discover stories that bridge the past and present and illuminate the human condition.

The Newberry’s community of discovery is driven by a shared commitment to promoting research, inspiring learning, and using inquiry across the humanities as a tool to engage critically in a vibrant democratic society.


The Newberry Library––free and open to the public––fosters a deeper understanding of our world by inspiring research and learning in the humanities and encouraging conversations about ideas that matter to diverse audiences. Our mission is rooted in a growing and accessible collection of rare and historical materials that spans more than six centuries of human experience.

Strategic Plan

Adopted in July 2022, the Newberry’s five-year strategic plan rests on four pillars: 

  • Advance and Disseminate Knowledge
  • Build, Diversify, and Sustain Communities of Learning
  • Grow, Preserve, and Increase Access to the Collection
  • Strengthen Institutional Health

Read the plan