Renovating Our First Floor | Newberry

Renovating Our First Floor

We're extending our community of learning into new parts of the library! In transforming our first floor, we're multiplying your opportunities for interacting with collections and staff—just steps after entering the Newberry.

We'll unveil the different parts of the first floor in stages over the summer and fall of 2018. The schedule of openings includes:

  • August 14: Herget Welcome Center, where visitors can learn about the Newberry and sign up for reader's cards; Rosenberg Bookshop, the Newberry's renovated bookstore, relocated and expanded to offer a wider selection of books, gifts, and Newberry swag.
  • September 28: Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World's Fair, the first major show in our redesigned galleries for temporary, thematic exhibits.
  • Coming Soon: Originally scheduled to open September 13, our new permanent exhibit (From the Stacks) is postponed due to unexpected delays related to the gallery's 46-foot-long display case and the mechanical system controlling its climate. We're working to address these issues so the gallery fully meets our standards for protecting and preserving the Newberry collection, and we look forward to sharing the exhibit with the public soon!

Herget Welcome Center—Now Open!

If you’re new to the Newberry, start off in our welcome center, where staff and volunteers can introduce you to the library, sign you up for a reader’s card, and give you a quick orientation before you embark on your intellectual journey in our exhibition galleries, event spaces, or reading rooms.

Rosenberg Bookshop—Now Open!

Your friendly Newberry-run bookshop, now with double the floorspace, offers a wide selection of books inspired by the library collections, cards, gifts, and Newberry swag.

Trienens Galleries—Opening September 28

Next door to the Hanson Gallery are two gallery spaces for temporary thematic exhibitions. These spaces, called the Trienens Galleries, will be inaugurated on September 28 with the opening of Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World’s Fair.

Hanson Gallery—Opening Soon

The Hanson Gallery is the future home of From the Stacks, a permanent exhibition featuring highlights from the Newberry’s collection. Every three months, a new selection of items will introduce visitors to a range of books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, and other historical artifacts that open windows onto the past.

The architectural centerpiece is an 8-foot-tall, 46-foot-long climate-controlled display case running the length of the gallery.


Welcoming visitors into our building starts outside, and continues into the entry. We’ve made a number of structural and aesthetic changes to improve the library’s visibility and accessibility.

These changes include a new, inviting landscape; a universally accessible entrance to the east of our front doors; and improvements to our vestibule that make it more inviting and more reflective of who we are as an institution.

  • A new bench and landscaping, just west of our front entrance
  • A look at the pathway that will lead visitors into our new ADA entrance, just east of the front doors
  • An image from our vast collection of maps greets visitors as they walk through the vestibule and enter the lobby.