"First and Foremost" Campaign Raises $35 Million for the Newberry

First and Foremost

December 31, 2018 marked the successful conclusion of the Newberry’s First and Foremost comprehensive campaign, a two-year fundraising initiative to support the library’s vision for expanding access to its world-class collection and promoting learning in the humanities.

In addition to increasing the Newberry’s resources for future exhibitions, public programs, research fellowships, and educational outreach, First and Foremost supported a $12.5 million renovation that transformed the Newberry’s first floor into a more welcoming, engaging space for visitors.

With generous support from individuals, foundations, and corporate donors, the Newberry raised more than $35 million, exceeding its campaign goal by some 17 percent.

"We are enormously grateful to our many campaign donors, who are making it possible for us to pursue a variety of activities that are integral to our mission,"said Newberry President David Spadafora. ”For more than 130 years, the Newberry has been committed to preserving and making available a rich cultural legacy so that both scholars and the public as a whole can use those resources to advance our understanding of the past for the sake of the present and the future. Our fundamental mission has remained the same across the years, but the methods for realizing it are always evolving. The success of First and Foremost gives us exciting opportunities to serve even more users with increasing effectiveness and creativity.”

First and Foremost has generated funding for a range of Newberry projects and activities, including:

  • A $12.5 million renovation, covering 23,000 square feet, that has revitalized the Newberry’s first floor and created new opportunities for visitors to engage with library collections and staff.
  • The establishment of an exhibitions and public programming fund to augment the financial resources available for these important activities in the years to come.
  • The funding of additional long- and short-term fellowships that cover a range of fields of study, from pre-1800 Europe to the performing and visual arts to the exploration of what makes us human.
  • Expanding digital access to Newberry collections through the creation of a new fund that supports innovative approaches to the digital humanities.
  • Long-term support for the Newberry’s educational outreach activities, including a new in-school program bringing primary sources into high school classrooms.