Programs and Events

Since its founding in 1887, the Newberry has provided public programming in the humanities. Unless otherwise noted, events are free, and no reservations are required.
E.g., 09/04/2015
E.g., 09/04/2015
Friday, September 27, 2013Monday, March 24, 2014
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the US Civil War and in conjunction with the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Newberry Library have mounted “Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North,” an exhibition of more than 100 items that focuses on the enormous, and costly, effect the war had on civilians.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce novices to the basics of research at an informal orientation. After the session, you are welcome to begin your research. A reference librarian will be available to provide suggestions and assistance. Reservations not required.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Inca Bridges and Roads in the Newberry's Relación of 1548
A fascinating Peruvian manuscript in the Ayer collection at the Newberry describes a series of events that occurred in the aftermath of the conquest of Peru and Francisco Pizarro’s establishment of the Spanish colonial capital of Lima in 1535.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Join us for this free tour of “Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North,” Chicago’s only major exhibition on the Civil War during its 150th anniversary. One of the exhibition’s co-curators will walk visitors through more than 100 items that focus on the enormous, and costly, effect the war had on civilians.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Eighteenth-Century French Perspectives on Indian Women's Work
Early in the 18th century French interests expanded into the interior of the Ohio River Valley. Travelers who explored the fertile tributary rivers of the Ohio offer a unique perspective on this agrarian village world.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
An Art History Lecture
The American Civil War was precipitated by the issue of slavery, and the industrial-level slaughter made it the bloodiest war ever fought by the United States. Why, then, was there so little painting during the Civil War depicting race, slavery, and the battlefield?
Saturday, January 18, 2014
“Oh that I had the power to make Time lame,To stay the stars, or make the moon stand still,That future day might never stay haste thy flight.”
Thursday, January 23, 2014Saturday, January 25, 2014
The Center for Renaissance Studies’ annual graduate student conference, organized and run by advanced doctoral students, has become a premier opportunity for graduate students to present papers, participate in discussions, and develop collaborations across the field of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern studies.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Publishing Region: Print and Place in the Gold Rush West
This colloquium examines, both conceptually and historically, the relation between print and place. It advances the notion of the “print region” - wherein books and periodicals are made predominantly by, for, and about a regional population - and focuses on the mid-nineteenth-century “Gold Rush West,” which encompasses San Francisco, Sacramento, and the mining hinterlands of the Sierra Nevada.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
A Meet the Authors Event
Historians D. Bradford Hunt, Eric Fure-Slocum, and Leon Fink will discuss post-war urban change and conflict in Chicago and Milwaukee.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce novices to the basics of research at an informal orientation. After the session, you are welcome to begin your research. A reference librarian will be available to provide suggestions and assistance. Reservations not required.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
April 1509: The Pope Invites the Emperor To Go To War
A small broadside in the Newberry collection, apparently unique, reproduces a letter from Pope Julius II to Maximilian I inviting the emperor to join in an attack on the Venetian Republic. The letter sheds light on a bewildering web of alliances and counter-alliances crisscrossing Italy at the height of the Italian Wars. But the format of the letter is interesting too: why was it printed?
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
A Meet the Author Event
The famous, the infamous, and the unjustly forgotten—all receive their due in this biographical dictionary of the people who have made Chicago one of the world’s great cities. Here are the life stories—provided in short, entertaining capsules—of Chicago’s cultural giants as well as the industrialists, architects, and politicians who literally gave shape to the city.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Join us for this free tour of “Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North,” Chicago’s only major exhibition on the Civil War during its 150th anniversary. One of the exhibition’s co-curators will walk visitors through more than 100 items that focus on the enormous, and costly, effect the war had on civilians.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
“The Epistolae duorum amantium, Abelard and Heloise: An Annotated Concordance” Stephen Jaeger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Professor Jaeger’s paper will be precirculated electronically in advance; please write to jvan@nd.edu to request a copy.)
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Conservation at the Caroline Rediviva
Adam Larsson, a conservator from Sweden, will be joining us for the next Newberry Colloquium. After presenting information about the history and research collections of the Carolina Rediviva at the Uppsala University Library in Sweden, Larsson will discuss the library’s Section for Preservation and share some of the amazing conservation projects he has undertaken.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
U.S. Imperial Desire and the Struggle for Cuba Libre
The 1850s were marked by the rapid expansion of U.S. territory. Almost all of these physical extensions of empire were joined by heated debates about Indigenous sovereignty. A site of particular interest was Cuba, as evidenced by the popularity of Narciso López’s various filibustering attempts.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
“Were man but constant, he were perfect.”
Saturday, February 22, 2014
By the early eighteenth century, decades before the discovery of its constituent gases, air was recognized as mundane matter: heterogeneous and changeable, subject to human manipulation, the “subtle” substance of history rather than spirit.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Dugout Canoes in the Mississippi Valley
We know far more about the iconic birch bark canoe than we do about the large wooden dugout canoes that were central to Native American life along vast sections of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers at the time of European contact, and for many centuries before that.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Parallel Lives, Intersecting Visions: Native American and New Immigrant Voices and the Americanization Project
In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the crisis in national identity caused by the unprecedented numbers of New Immigrants and their threat to “100 percent Americanism” produced an unexpected turn to the Indian who, in nationalist rhetoric, donned the robe of “savagery” and became, suddenly, “the first American.” This talk will introduce the audience to a book project (in progress
Friday, February 28, 2014
A Symposium Honoring Barbara H. Rosenwein
Barbara H. Rosenwein has been an animating presence in the Chicago medieval studies community for more than four decades.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce novices to the basics of research at an informal orientation. After the session, you are welcome to begin your research. A reference librarian will be available to provide suggestions and assistance. Reservations not required.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
An Exhibition Lecture and Performance
During the Civil War, music was everywhere. At public rallies and in family parlors, people heard and sang songs about the conflict. Christian McWhirter, author of Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War, will give a talk about what music meant for people who were intimately involved in this bloody and violent war.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
T. S. Eliot is widely regarded as one of the finest poets of the English language. Four Quartets, Eliot’s last major poetic work, is a stunning achievement written at the height of his powers.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Re-Writing the Declaration of Sentiments: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Present-Day Gender Policy
In July 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and several contemporaries publicly presented the founding document of the women’s rights movement in the United States, the Declaration of Sentiments, in Seneca Falls, New York.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
In March, 1914, Poetry magazine published Carl Sandburg’s controversial Chicago Poems, including the title ode to Chicago in which he famously coins it “City of the Big Shoulders.”To mark the occasion, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Reading the Pope's Mail: Rome and Papal Diplomats in Counter-Reformation Europe
In the face of the Reformation, communication with the far reaches of Europe became vital for popes during the sixteenth century.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation will give four talks about researching family histories in Ireland. Come and explore new techniques and approaches for your personal family research. The talks will be:
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Join us for this free tour of “Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North,” Chicago’s only major exhibition on the Civil War during its 150th anniversary. One of the exhibition’s co-curators will walk visitors through more than 100 items that focus on the enormous, and costly, effect the war had on civilians.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Finding Mahler: The Composer as His Contemporaries Viewed Him
A century ago Mahler was an international star conductor who was controversial as a composer. Yet when he died the controversies about his music metamorphosed into praise about his important contributions to classical music.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
City in a Garden: Uncovering the History of Urban Agriculture in Chicago
Though nineteenth-century Chicago is often remembered for its stockyards and grain elevators, these industrial food systems represented just some of the many ways that the city’s residents put food on the table. A diverse group of Chicagoans also practiced urban agriculture, using backyards and side streets to raise pigs, chickens, fruits, and vegetables.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
This essay explores the complexities of Cherokee-British interaction along the Tennessee River. Between 1670 and 1758 Europeans became aware of a “corridor” that could connect British Carolina with the Ohio Valley, the Wabash River, and the Illinois country via the Tennessee.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
On July 19th and 20th, 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and several of her contemporaries publicly presented the founding document of the women’s rights movement in the United States, the Declaration of Sentiments, in Seneca Falls, New York, and then gathered resolutions to be included in the document before printing.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Edible Book Festival
Please join us at the Colloquium on April 2nd for the first ever Edible Book Festival at the Newberry! What is the “Edible Books Festival,” you ask?
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Constructing a Rhetorical Biography of Plains Indian Pictography
The recent explosion of material and object-oriented theories in the Western traditions of philosophy, anthropology, literary studies, and rhetoric, among others, resonate with the millennia-long traditions of American Indian ontologies that recognize humans’ role as one, equal entity among others in vast webs of interrelationships.
Friday, April 4, 2014
This lecture will focus upon the preparation, use, and reuse of woodblocks in the production of printed images of plants within two traditions of early modern herbals, each supporting distinct agendas within changing economies of curiosity.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce novices to the basics of research at an informal orientation. After the session, you are welcome to begin your research. A reference librarian will be available to provide suggestions and assistance. Reservations not required.
Monday, April 7, 2014Friday, June 27, 2014
The 28th Annual Juried Exhibition of the Chicago Calligraphy Collective
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
A Nocturne at the Newberry
Among the Newberry’s holdings of manuscripts by famous composers is Frederic Chopin’s Nocturne for piano, op. 62 no. 1, in B major (Vault Case MS 7Q 104).
Thursday, April 10, 2014Friday, April 11, 2014
State trials were the quintessential media events of later Stuart England. The more important of these trials attracted vast public attention, serving as pivot points in the relationship between the governors and the governed.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Gustl Geht: An Overnight Walking Tour of Viennese Literature
“What, I’m already on the street? How did I ever get here?” -Lieutentant Gustl
Saturday, April 19, 2014
The eighteenth-century vogue for pictures of women perusing love letters not only marked the age’s affection for epistolarity, it also emblematized the “papered century,” named for the period’s unprecedented proliferation of monetary notes and credit instruments.
Monday, April 21, 2014
Celebrate the Bard’s 450th birthday by joining us for our next “Conversation at the Newberry,” when Chicago Shakespeare Theater Founder and Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Gail Kern Paster, director emerita of the Folger Shakespeare Library, discuss Shakespeare as literature, and as performance.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Clerical Combatants: Clergy and Armed Conflict During the French Wars of Religion
Despite traditional taboos on clerical involvement in armed conflict and arms-bearing in general, Catholic clergy became key military and political actors at the height of the French Wars of Religion.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
“T were all oneThat I should love a bright particular starAnd think to wed it, he is so above me”
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
A Meet the Authors Event
Using Dan Brown’s book as a jumping off point, Inferno Revealed will offer readers of Brown’s Inferno an engaging introduction to Dante and his world. Inferno Revealed explores how Dante made himself the protagonist of The Divine Comedy, something no other epic poet has done, the ramifications of which have not yet been fully explored.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Picturing Knowledge as Power: The Visual Culture of Workers' Education
During the first half of the 20th century, labor unions, radicals, and reformers in the U.S. launched a surprising array of educational programs aimed at shaping the minds of working class adults. Belief in the old adage that “Knowledge is Power” was a common impulse among street corner speakers, bohemian open forums, labor colleges, radical publishers, and settlement house classes.