Ephemeral by Design: Organizing the Everyday
"Untitled," by Karen Ness
Exploration 2015
Goodbye, Call Slips
Cartouche from A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America, John Mitchell. 1755.
Manning, Planting, Keeping: English Colonization...
Ephemeral by Design: Organizing the Everyday
Friday 4/10 to Friday 7/3

Ephemera are traces of the everyday—materials, usually printed, designed to be read or consumed in some way and then discarded. From bus tickets to party invitations, dance cards to advertisements, these items form the texture of social and commercial exchange.

"Untitled," by Karen Ness
"Untitled," by Karen Ness
Exploration 2015 : The 29th Annual Juried Exhibition of the Chicago Calligraphy Collective
Monday 3/16 to Friday 6/12

The Chicago Calligraphy Collective was founded in 1976 to promote the study, practice, and appreciation of calligraphy in all its historical and present-day applications. This annual juried exhibition of members’ work includes handmade artists’ books and broadsides alongside three-dimensional works executed in various media and styles, from classical to contemporary.

Goodbye, Call Slips

Filling out individual call slips, by hand, in order to request materials from the Newberry’s collection will soon be a thing of the past. Starting May 1, Newberry readers will be able to reserve collection items with a simple click of the mouse.

Cartouche from A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America, John Mitchell. 1755.
Cartouche from A Map of the British and French Dominions in North America, John Mitchell. 1755.
Manning, Planting, Keeping: English Colonization and the Origins of Modern America, 1580-1865
Thursday 5/7

From the colony at Jamestown to John Winthrop’s “City on a Hill,” the story of America’s founding is one of migrants and migrations, of colonizers and the colonized, of households and servitude and slavery, and of the freedom all craved and some found. It is a story steeped in the promise of opportunity and independence—ideals that have formed the bedrock of American society—but it is also a story of survival and hard work.

Core Collections

Marbling on binding by Norma Rubovits.

History of the Book

The Newberry’s collection on the history of printing and the book arts is one of the world’s leading collections in its field.      

American History and Culture

The Newberry has deep collections reflecting the breadth of American history and culture through World War One.

Gaylord Watson, Chicago Fire Map. 1871.

Chicago and the Midwest

The collections contain extensive materials on the history of Chicago and the Midwest, including its growth, politics, and eclectic inhabitants.

Manuel Rodriguez. Compendio Geografico, c. 1768.

Genealogy and Local History

The Newberry has been actively collecting genealogy and local history materials since 1887.

From the Stacks

Full Dance Card

Des Arts Studio

Dance cards, known as programmes du bal in French or Tanz-karten in German, are small booklets used mainly by women at formal dances to record their dance partners. Popularized in Vienna in the nineteenth century, dance cards continued to be used throughout the early twentieth century.

Marital Power

Elizabeth Packard

On June 18th, 1860, Elizabeth Packard was taken from her home in Manteno, Illinois, and placed in an asylum—without trial or a thorough assembly of evidence to support her institutionalization. Packard’s husband was a devout Calvinist who felt threatened by his wife’s outspoken opposition to his religious views. To silence his wife and protect his reputation, he arranged for Elizabeth’s confinement, which lasted three years.