Programs for the Public | Newberry

Programs for the Public

The Newberry organizes and hosts programs illuminating topics in the humanities through a variety of formats, including lectures, staged readings, music and dance performances, panel discussions, workshops, and more.

Some events are part of ongoing series, such as Conversations at the Newberry, Meet the Author talks, Programs for Genealogists, the weekly Newberry Colloquium, and exhibition-related programming; others are signature annual events, such as the Newberry Book Fair and the Bughouse Square Debates. Additional public programming may be sponsored by the Newberry’s Research Centers.

Most Newberry public programs are free. Seating is limited and obtaining free tickets in advance is required for many events; see the individual listings for details.

Many of our programs are recorded, and you can listen to them on our website.

Upcoming Public Programs

Thursday, May 26, 2022
Conversations at the Newberry
Kathleen Belew and Erika Lee
Hybrid in-person AND virtual event - register now
In this installment of “Conversations at the Newberry,” two historians, Kathleen Belew and Erika Lee, share their research on the long histories of American identity, offering fresh perspectives on the forces that seek to expand or narrow understandings of what it means to be American.
Thursday, June 16, 2022
In-person event - register now
Where would Leopold Bloom have wandered in the city of Chicago? During a movable reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses, we’ll round up performers, scholars, and Joyce enthusiasts as we visit Chicago spots inspired by the novel.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Featuring Mississippi Heat and John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band
In-person event - no registration required
Join us for a celebration of Chicago Blues with performances by Mississippi Heat and John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band.
Saturday, June 25, 2022
A Performance in Bughouse Square by the Shakespeare Project of Chicago
In-person event - no registration required
Adapted by Jeff Christian, 50-Minute Hamlet presents Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedy.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Meet the Author
Meet the Author: Miriam Thaggert, in conversation with Mia Bay
In-person event - register now
Drawing upon her rigorous research within the Newberry Library’s Pullman Company Archives, Miriam Thaggert details the pleasures and perils of Black women train travelers with a focus on the unique experiences of the Pullman Company maid.
Friday, July 29, 2022Sunday, July 31, 2022
Chicago’s most popular used-book sale is back! Browse through thousands of books in dozens of genres, including fiction, philosophy, history, art, cooking, children’s literature, and much, much more. With many items priced at $3 or less, you can stock up on new reads and expand your own personal library on the cheap. Admission is free.
Saturday, July 30, 2022
In-person event - no registration required
Coinciding with the 2022 Newberry Book Fair, this free event in Washington Square Park (“Bughouse Square”) celebrates the power of storytelling and its role in shaping our city. The festivities will also include the presentation of the Newberry’s first annual Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award.
Friday, November 4, 2022Saturday, November 5, 2022
Center for the History of Cartography Programs
The 21st Kenneth Nebenzahl, Jr., Lectures in the History of Cartography
Registration is now open
Over two days of lectures, “Mapping as Performance” will address the ways in which people create and share maps through action in space.