In comparison to the South, the far West, and New England, the history of the Midwest has been sadly neglected. In addition to outlining the centrality of the Midwest to crucial moments in American history, Jon K. Lauck resurrects the long-forgotten stories of the institutions founded by an earlier generation of midwestern historians.
The Newberry has a rich collection of manuscripts ranging from medieval Books of Hours to twentieth-century scrapbooks and letters.
The Newberry has deep collections reflecting the breadth of American history and culture through World War One.
The Newberry’s collection on the history of printing and the book arts is one of the world’s leading collections in its field.
The Newberry has been actively collecting genealogy and local history materials since 1887.
From the Stacks
The Great War marked a pivotal shift in the lives of African Americans. As American industry ramped up to meet wartime demands and droves of young people joined the U.S. military, new economic opportunities drew hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the South to industrial centers in the North. Between 1916 and 1920, during what became known as the Great Migration, 50,000 black southerners relocated to Chicago, where they accounted for 20 percent of the wartime meat-packing labor force (to take just one example).
Though automobiles were already, by the 1920s, becoming the preferred form of transportation for short trips between American cities, trains remained the most convenient and efficient way to cover larger distances. The railroads preserved their competitive advantage in this area in part through the promotion of tourism.