To aid Chicago’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Teacher and Student Programs will run virtual programs in Fall 2021. This includes the in-school Traveling Collections program. The library will regularly post operations updates to our COVID-19 update page.
Newberry Traveling Collections
Can’t come to the Newberry? Let our research library come to you!
The Newberry is pleased to offer two new opportunities for teachers and high school students to work with original primary sources in their own classrooms.
The Civil War
Newberry staff will bring a traveling collection of original Civil War documents and images to your classroom. Highlights include illustrated copies of Harper’s Weekly, Union and Confederate soldiers’ letters, and The Liberator. Learn how both mass media and personal documents shaped Americans’ understanding of the Civil War. Students learn to engage in close reading and primary source analysis to better understand the Civil War.
World War II
On a typical school day, Newberry staff will bring a traveling collection of original World War II documents and images to your classroom. During the 2020-21 school year, the Newberry will offer virtual Traveling Collections presentations. Highlights include propaganda posters, a newspaper from the Heart Mountain Japanese internment camp, newspapers reporting on the Pearl Harbor attack and the D-Day invasions, and personal letters and photographs. Your students will learn to interact with primary sources ranging from the war front to the home front. Whether you seek World War II-era content or just want to introduce students to primary source analysis, this collection provides a unique experience for students to interact with historical documents.
This program, generously funded by the Mazza Foundation, is free for Chicago Public Schools and Big Shoulders Fund schools.
Hear what students from John Hancock High School have to say about this traveling collections program!
“My favorite part was interacting with the actual sources instead of looking at pictures of them or only being able to see them from afar.”
“It felt like a time machine.”
“I loved how old the documents were. It was a first-hand experience.”
What to Expect during a Traveling Collection Visit
Upon registering for the program and scheduling a visit, the Teacher and Student Programs team will send you a short document, written by a subject specialist, explaining important background context for the historical period we will cover in the traveling collection. You are free to assign the document or incorporate into your lesson planning however you wish. The day of the visit (either virtual or in-person), we will present a selection of historical artifacts to discuss and engage with during your class. Students are welcome (and even encouraged!) to touch the items and take pictures. Following a brief analysis and discussion of the items as a large group, we will branch out into a small-group analysis activity, which will allow your students to practice document analysis skills first-hand. We strive to adjust the curriculum to best suit your class size, time allotment, and population needs and abilities.
Registration for 2021-22 will open October 5, 2021. (Please note: all Traveling Collections scheduled for Oct - Dec 2021 will take place virtually.)
Exhibition Tours at the Newberry
The Newberry is currently not accepting large school groups for tours.
Class Visits to the Newberry’s Collections
Groups of 15 students or less are welcome to visit the library’s reading rooms to experience first-hand our amazing collections. Reservations are first come, first served, and all group members must be at least 14 years of age or in the ninth grade to enter the reading rooms. For more information on specific requirements and how to register your group, please visit the Reader Services department webpage.
Class visits are not available at this time.