Modern Manuscript Collections

Illustration from the American Circus Collection
Illustration from the American Circus Collection. Midwest MS American Circus, box 5, folder 38.

The Newberry houses over 800 Modern Manuscript collections (ca. 1700 to the present) totaling about 15,000 linear feet.

The Edward E. Ayer Collections contains over 1,350 single manuscripts and manuscript collections documenting the American Indian dating from the seventeenth through twentieth centuries.

The Everett D. Graff Collection contains 462 single manuscripts and manuscript collections dating mainly from the 19th century and relating to the exploration, settlement, and development of the country west of the Mississippi River.

The Midwest Dance Collection, centered on Chicago, consists of the Ann Barzel Dance Research Collection and the papers and archives of over 80 dancers, journalists, choreographers, dance companies, schools, festivals, and dance advocacy groups.

The Midwest Manuscript Collection contains over 600 collections focusing on Chicago and the Midwest from the early 19th century to the present. Subject strengths include the arts, business, Civil War, clubs and organizations, family papers, journalism, literature, music, politics, railroads, religion, social action, theater, and women.

The Newberry’s own comprehensive archives document the history of this 125-year-old independent research library and its engagement with the city.

Wing Modern Manuscript Collection within the John M. Wing Collection on the History of Printing, includes the papers and archives of over 60 individuals and firms involved with printing and publishing in Chicago and elsewhere.

To discover Modern Manuscript Collections:

  • Search or Browse all Modern Manuscript Collection Abstracts (summary descriptions of almost all collections, often with links to more detailed online inventories and collection-level catalog records)
  • Search across the online inventories and catalog records of many Modern Manuscript Collections via ArchiveGrid (the best way to conduct an in-depth search of collection content)
  • Search for Modern Manuscripts in the Online Catalog (catalog records describing individual manuscript items or collections, often with links to more detailed online inventories)