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 some events; see the individual listings for details.

Upcoming Public Programs

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Newberry Colloquium
A Newberry Colloquium
Join Newberry Conservation Services as they fearlessly walk you through some of the ways they battle against the evils of deterioration. Hear how Conservation staff members defend Newberry materials against unwanted pests and create amazing custom housing to protect individual items.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought – Pablo Picasso
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
John F. Kennedy was a voracious reader and he put his reading to work in his speeches.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Other Programs
Mischief, Rules, and Lessons
Free and open to the public; no registration required
This month, join in a unique interactive melange of music and story activities, from long ago through today, from the Newberry collection, including selections from Why Be a Goop?, Tales for Youth, Madlenka’s Dog, and Angry Aardvark to Zealous Zebra: Curious Creatures ABC. We’ll close with a hands-on Musical Instrument Petting Zoo!
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
A new play by Rowan Williams
Free and open to the public; no registration required
While many theories surround Shakespeare’s “Lost Years,” between the time he left Stratford-Upon-Avon and his arrival in London, one centers on the possibility that he spent time in Lancashire as a teacher on the estate of Alexander Hoghton, a wealthy Catholic landowner, whose home was a safe house for Catholic priests under persecution from the crown.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
This fall the Lyric Opera of Chicago, in collaboration with the Joffrey Ballet, is mounting an exciting new production of the 1774 Paris version of Christoph Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
The expanding print industry of the sixteenth century strongly contributed to the religious and social upheaval that defined the Reformation. The printed materials that circulated widely in Europe included musical books for the laity. Like the written word, music had the power to promote new thinking, and its expressive devices could be used more effectively than regular speech.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
A fundraiser to benefit the Newberry's collection
We hope you will join us for Booked for the Evening, an exciting new fundraising event at the Newberry! Booked for the Evening will give you a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact with our librarians and curators, learn about the often unseen work they do, and raise important funds to support the growth, processing, and preservation of the Newberry’s world-class collection.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
The massive medieval empires of Byzantium and Arabia generated great literature that lasts to our present day. Despite the frequent animosity between East and West, these two cultures were brought into contact by perhaps the least expected of mediators: Jewish merchants whose business spanned from Gibraltar to India.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Wing Foundation Lecture Series on the History of the Book
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
Peter Stallybrass begins with a very simple proposition, although he hopes that it will have some surprising implications. The proposition is that the vast majority of letters written between the 1530s and the 1920s consist mainly of blank paper—and that they are designed to do so.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Other Programs
One World, Seen and Unseen
Free and open to the public; no registration required
This month, join in a unique interactive melange of music and story activities, from long ago through today, from the Newberry collection, including selections from Down-adown-Derry: A Book of Fairy Poems; Aliguq/Alega, an Inuit Story; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; and Greet the Dawn: The Lakota Way.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Americans today have a love/hate relationship with France, but in this illuminating new history, Tom Shachtman shows that without France, there might not be a United States of America.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts …”
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
This remarkable cultural history celebrates the great Midwestern city of Chicago for its centrality to the modernist movement.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register
Venice during the early modern era expanded its position as a major crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa. A commercial powerhouse, the independent republic mediated between Roman, Protestant, and Byzantine Christian as well as Islamic lands.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Theologians, philosophers, and church-leaders discuss Luther's “Protestant” reform as a “churchly” event. But it had (and continues to have) enormous consequences in political, cultural,economic, personal, and social life.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Other Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Nathaniel Philbrick will speak about his latest book, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, which appeared for seven consecutive weeks on the New York Times
Sunday, November 5, 2017Monday, November 6, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
A History of the Book Symposium
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
The Newberry Library and Spertus Institute each house a rich collection of medieval and early modern Jewish manuscripts and printed materials, including two jointly owned books. This one-day symposium celebrates and examines these collections in relation to the social and religious lives of Jews from roughly 1300 to 1700. How did the shift to print affect Jewish thought?
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Conversations at the Newberry
Brad Gregory and Mark Noll on the Protestant Reformation and Its Continuing Impact
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” Brad S. Gregory and Mark Noll engage in a conversation about the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century and its continued impact on today's world.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
Heralded as America’s most quintessentially modern city, Chicago has attracted the gaze of journalists, novelists, essayists, and scholars as much as any city in the nation. And, yet, few historians have attempted big-picture narratives of the city’s transformation over the twentieth century.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Other Programs
Dolls, Toys, and Winter
Free and open to the public; no registration required
This month, join in a unique interactive melange of music and story activities, from long ago through today, from the Newberry collection, including selections from Debussy’s La Boîte à Joujoux/The Toybox; The Children’s Book of 100 Pictures; and Down-adown-Derry: A Book of Fairy Poems. We’ll close with a hands-on Musical Instrument Petting Zoo!
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
History textbooks, once they get over describing the Jesuits as the shock troops of the Counter Reformation, often mention that Ignatius of Loyola wrote a book called Spiritual Exercises, and that the order ran a lot of schools. Those two aspects of the Jesuit enterprises will be the subject of Professor O'Malley's lecture.
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Other Programs
Open only to high school students; free, registration required
Attention high school students! Come to the Newberry for an exciting, immersive three-hour workshop, and learn how to make Shakespeare come alive in your performances. Facilitated by actors from the Shakespeare Project of Chicago, you will learn tools and techniques for unlocking emotion and meaning in Shakespeare’s texts.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; see below for a link to register.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians has been a part of Chicago since its founding. In very public expressions of indigeneity, they have refused to hide in plain sight or assimilate.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
The Schola Antiqua early music ensemble will lead participants in singing medieval and early modern religious music from the Newberry collection.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
It is Christmas night at the Windmill Inn, Shakespeare’s favorite pub in Stratford-Upon-Avon. While the Bard quaffs his favorite beverage at his usual table, he encounters a series of visitors, each with an unrealized dream and unanswered questions.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
“Let me have war, say I: it exceeds peace as far as day does night: it’s sprightly waking, audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleepy, insensible: a getter of more bastard children than war’s a destroyer of men.”
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
“Never were finer snares for womens’ honesties Than are devis’d in these days; no spider’s web’s Made of a daintier thread, than are now practis’d To catch love’s flesh-fly by the silver wing”
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required
“ ‘I can see he’s not in your good books,’ said the messenger. ‘No, and if he were I would burn my library.’” A staged reading by professional actors from The Shakespeare Project of Chicago, directed by Peter Garino.