Turning the Page on 2017

Another year of bringing people and collections together is nearly in the books. Here are a few end-of-year takeaways from all the reading room activity we saw throughout 2017...

By the Numbers

  • 3,504 readers used our collection in 2017.
  • Our readers came from 49 U.S. states. The one hold-out? Delaware. There's always next year, Delaware.
  • What about international readers? Users visited the Newberry from 27 different countries.
  • 29,870 requests were made for collection items in our reading rooms.

The Most Requested Item of the Year?

The Popol Vuh [Vault Ayer MS 1515]. Variously translated as "Book of the Council," "Book of the Community," "Book of the People," and "the Sacred Book," the Popol Vuh is the creation account of the Mayan people. The Newberry’s copy of the Popol Vuh was transcribed between 1700 and 1715 in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, by the Dominican priest Francisco Ximénez (1666–1729). A linguist, Ximénez was interested in the native Quiche (K'echi') language. Some scholars believe that Ximénez's copy was derived from an earlier version, probably prepared in the sixteenth century by a native speaker who had been taught Latin characters.

The Most Requested Archival Collection of the Year?

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company Records. Commonly known as the Burlington, the CB&Q was formed in 1855 from a small local predecessor line, the Aurora Branch Railroad, located in northeastern Illinois. The company's records at the Newberry consist of 2,341 linear feet of archival material comprising correspondence, reports, maps, blueprints, financial documents, advertising materials, photographs, and other items documenting the history of the CB&Q.

Want to Become a Newberry Reader?

Whether you're from Delaware or someplace else, the process is easy! Learn about registering as a reader and using our collection.