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

Thursday, July 26, 2018Sunday, July 29, 2018
Free admission
#NLBF18 Don’t miss our annual Newberry Book Fair, one of the largest used book sales in the country. Browse through more than 135,000 used books, movies, records and more in 70 categories, many of which are priced at $3 or less. Admission is FREE!
Saturday, July 28, 2018
#Bughouse2018
Free and open to the public; no registration required
At a time when political polarization is intensified by the extremes of digital discourse, the Bughouse Square Debates are a public forum where people can encounter new ideas and share their own—in person!
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
The renovation of the Newberry’s lobby has made way for the new Herget Welcome Center. The addition of the Welcome Center not only means modifications for the first floor, but also the reading rooms and reader services.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
This talk examines the implications of the visual representation of proverbial expressions in Renaissance Italian verses and calligraphic specimens held at the Newberry Library. It does so by considering proverbs and proverbial phrases as didactic and moral tools that can be used in texts connected to iconic elements.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
First published in Perugia in 1482, Lorenzo Spirito’s bestselling Book of Fortune was an interactive book waiting to reveal the reader’s secrets. Poised somewhere between being a moralizing emblem book and a game of dice, it was translated into many languages, outfitted with moving parts, and resplendently illustrated into the seventeenth century.
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Suzanne Karr Schmidt
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Interactive and Sculptural Printmaking in the Renaissance tells the story of a hands-on genre of prints: how innovative paper engineering redefined the relationship of early modern viewers to art, humanism, and science.
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Reading and Singalong, with Author Valrie Kemp-Davis and Chef Poppa Mikey of the One Love Project
Free and open to the public. Registration recommended.
Valrie Kemp-Davis will introduce children to the Jamaican One Love Project – “The world is smaller, the heart is larger, the love is bigger” ̵
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
A Panel with Katherine Hamilton-Smith, Mike Jackson, and Lisa Stone
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Explore the history of the American postcard!
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Performed by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
A moving and powerful dramatization of the remarkable friendship between two presidents of the United States, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams—with the forthright Abigail Adams always playing a major role.
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Susan Sleeper-Smith
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Indigenous Prosperity and American Conquest: Indian Women of the Ohio River Valley, 1690-1792, by Susan Sleeper-Smith, recovers the agrarian village world Indian women created in the lush lands of the Ohio Valley.
Saturday, September 22, 2018
A Symposium Organized by Xóchitl Bada and A. K. Sandoval-Strausz
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Hometown associations, or clubes de oriundos, are organizations created by migrants and immigrants to allow them to assist the people in their communities of origin.
Friday, September 28, 2018Monday, December 31, 2018
Exhibitions
Free and open to the public
Plan your visit to the Newberry to see the exhibition.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
A Discussion with Daniel Greene
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
What did Americans know about Nazism during the 1930s and ’40s? How did the US government and the American people respond?
Thursday, October 4, 2018
A Lecture by Rebecca Graff
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Lasting for only six months before its structures “vanished,” the 1893 World’s Fair’s permanent impact on American consumer culture, city planning, questions around citizenry and foreignness was deeply tied to and reinforced by its ephemerality.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
A Talk by Gordon Wood
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
The great historian of the American Revolution, New York Times-bestselling and Pulitzer-winning Gordon Wood, discusses his majestic new dual biography of two of America’s most enduringly fascinating figures, whose partnership helped birth a nation, and whose subsequent falling out did much to fix its course.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Music and Stories for Children, with the Lucky Trikes Storytelling Chamber Band
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
In 1893, people from all over the world came to Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition—the World’s Fair!
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Tour the Newberry's Newly Renovated Henry Ives Cobb Building
Free and open to the public; no registration required
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Newberry Library’s move to 60 West Walton Street, to the neo-Romanesque building designed by Henry Ives Cobb. We have just completed a transformation of the first floor to expand our community of learning and multiply the public’s opportunities for interacting with collections and staff, just steps after entering the Newberry.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
A Performance with Commentary
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 was celebrated as a key moment in the cultural life of the city and the nation.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
“Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.” A theatrical reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by J. R. Sullivan.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Joan Marie Johnson
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
How did a group of affluent white women from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries advance the status of all women through acts of philanthropy?
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
A Panel with Paul Durica, Celia Hilliard, and Liesl Olson
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Explore the proliferation of clubs and small arts organizations in Chicago from the 1890s through the 1920s to consider what clubs and “club-ability” contributed to Chicago art and design in the first decades after the Great Fire.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
A Lecture by Debra N. Mancoff
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
When Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Prince Albert died in 1861, she swathed herself in black and mourned his loss for the rest of her life. But in her household, Albert was never truly gone.
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Colonial History Lecture Series: David J. Silverman
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Take a tour of three Thanksgivings, spread across the centuries, that provide windows into why the Wampanoags have hosted a National Day of Mourning for Native America each Thanksgiving holiday since 1970.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
A Lecture by Ruth Slatter
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
“Sixty-two thousand human beings collected under one roof is of itself a rare, grand, and touching show. As you sat on the benches under Dent’s great clock, which goes solemnly moving on like the visible finger of time, and looked down on the ever-stirring, yet ever-stationery sea of life below, you were filled with a sense of inexpressible awe.
Saturday, November 10, 2018
A Lecture, Demonstration, and Interactive Workshop
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
The World’s Fair introduced Middle Eastern belly dance (inauthentic as it probably was) to audiences on the Expo’s Midway Plaisance. Join us to explore the history—and try your hand at—Middle Eastern dance forms in the United States.
Saturday, November 10, 2018
The Wildly Magical World's Fair: A Highly Imaginative Art Activity with Laura Montenegro
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
In 1893, people from all over the world came to Chicago for the World’s Columbian Exposition. Join in a unique interactive reading and crafting workshop that will bring to life the Fair and the wonderful mix of cultures it fostered.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
A Lecture by Julia Bachrach
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In the late 1860s, when acclaimed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. visited the site for Chicago’s Jackson Park he did not consider it very promising.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Robert Bruegmann
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America explores and celebrates Chicago’s pivotal role in the development of modern American design.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
A Discussion with Paul E. Gehl and Tanner Woodford, and a Holiday Card-Making Workshop
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Explore the aesthetic and technological dimensions of typography and book design in Chicago, with an in-depth look at the Newberry’s collection of type specimens, book designs, and advertising. Discussion
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Travel to the 1893 World’s Fair through a special conversation on The Joffrey Ballet’s 2018 production of The Nutcracker, set during the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
A Lecture and Demonstration by Lisa M. Snyder
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Reclaim the lost experience of navigating through the White City with this digital visual simulation.
Saturday, December 15, 2018
A Theatrical Reading by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended
Join us for a special holiday-themed morning.
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
“O, why should nature build so foul a den, Unless the gods delight in tragedies?” A theatrical reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Michelle Shupe.
Friday, January 18, 2019Saturday, April 6, 2019
The Life, Writings, and Influence of Herman Melville, Author of Moby-Dick
Free and open to the public
Plan your visit to the Newberry to see the exhibition. For the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth, this exhibition will highlight the many facets of his work, illustrating how he has been perceived and repurposed over the past 200 years.
Saturday, January 19, 2019Sunday, January 20, 2019
Live Marathon Reading of Herman Melville's Masterpiece
Free and open to the public
Join us for an hour, an afternoon or morning, or all night long! To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth, the Newberry Library will host a Moby-Dick Read-a-Thon lasting 25 continuous hours. By the end of the marathon reading, a series of readers-performers will have collectively read Moby-Dick (aloud) cover to cover!
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste; Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste. And therefore is love said to be a child Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author with Adina Hoffman
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
In Adina Hoffman’s Ben Hecht: Fighting Words, Moving Pictures, Chicago becomes its own character. Hoffman writes in detail about Hecht’s years there, his involvement both with the city’s newspapers and with the Chicago Renaissance.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Brian McCammack
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Situated at the intersection of race and place in American history, Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago traces the contours of a black environmental consciousness that runs throughout the African American experience.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Staged Reading by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
A Shakespearean company puts down their rehearsal sides of Lear and curiously take up those of a new play entitled Moby Dick. On the rehearsal stage of platforms, the teasers overhead suddenly become yardarms with sails and a tall ladder becomes a mast.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Shakespeare Project of Chicago
Free and open to the public; registration recommended.
That disease Of which all old men sicken,—avarice. A theatrical reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Peter Garino.