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 tailored to the subject at hand: 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.

Unless otherwise noted, all Newberry public programs are free, and no advance registration is required.

Upcoming Public Programs

Wednesday, January 11, 2017Thursday, March 9, 2017
Exhibitions
Hamilton has revived interest in one of the most complex founding fathers. Though it’s steeped in history, the musical alone cannot fully reveal Hamilton’s genius, ambition, and tragic combativeness. Primary sources from the Newberry’s collection are on display to help fill in the blanks (sans hip hop accompaniment, unfortunately!).
Friday, January 20, 2017Saturday, April 15, 2017
Exhibitions
African American Kentucky through the Lens of Helen Balfour Morrison, 1935-1946
Chicago-area photographer Helen Balfour Morrison is largely unknown today, but she created an impressive body of photographs documenting African American life in Depression-era Kentucky. Beginning in 1935, Morrison traveled to the Inner Bluegrass region near Lexington, Kentucky, where she photographed the residents of two small African American communities, Zion Hill and Sugar Hill.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
The musical Hamilton has taken the humanities by storm, sparking new interest in early American history on college campuses. Four Northwestern University faculty have shaped courses in legal studies and history around the musical, using Lin Manuel Miranda’s themes to tackle issues of politics, immigration, and identity—past and present.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Other Programs
A Lecture Recital
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
This lecture recital explores the nineteenth-century Hungarian violinist, conductor, and composer Joseph Joachim in relation to Ludwig van Beethoven. Since Joachim’s debut performance of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto Op. 61 in 1844, the music of Beethoven assumed a central position in his life.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no tickets or registration required
“Our eyes are sentinels unto our judgements, And should give certain judgement what they see; But they are rash sometimes, and tell us wonders Of common things, which when our judgments find, They can then check the eyes, and call them blind.”
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Max Edling will explore how Hamilton’s fiscal and financial reforms laid the foundation for American power. It is a story of how as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton took a bankrupt, weak, dysfunctional federal union and turned it into a powerful nation that could hold its own against European empires and continental rivals.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Think of Queen Victoria. Her name immediately summons a vision of a short, stout, dour old woman, engulfed in widow’s weeds. But in 1837, the year she became Queen, she was petite, fresh-faced, and charming, just nineteen years old and full of spirit and style.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Programs for Genealogists
The Genealogy and Local History staff will introduce visitors to the Newberry and explain how to use its collections at an informal orientation. Aimed at researchers new to the library and/or new to genealogical research, the session will last approximately and hour followed by a short tour of the library.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Algren, A Life is the definitive biography of Nelson Algren, one of the best-known writers of mid-twentieth-century America.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
From 1936 to 1939, the New Deal’s Federal Writers’ Project collected life stories from more than 2,300 former African American slaves. These narratives are now widely used as a source to understand the lived experience of those who made the transition from slavery to freedom. But in this examination of the project and its legacy, Catherine A.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Programs for Genealogists
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Building on the Newberry exhibition, Photographing Freetowns: African-American Kentucky through the Lens of Helen Balfour Morrison, 1935-1946, internationally renowned genealogist Tony Burroughs will examine resources and methodology for researching ex-slaves and their descendants.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
In the Bantu language, “muntu” means “the essence of humanity.” It’s what the Muntu Dance Theatre seeks to express in its work and to touch in its audiences.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Other Programs
Presented by Chicago Collections in collaboration with The Newberry Library
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Learn about little-known aspects of the history of city planning in Chicago, drawing on the breadth and depth of resources available through the Chicago Collections Consortium and EXPLORE Chicago Collections.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Other Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Please join Andrew Lipman as he discusses his recent book, The Saltwater Frontier. The Saltwater Frontier is the previously untold story of how the ocean became a “frontier” between colonists and Indians. When the English and Dutch empires both tried to claim the same patch of coast between the Hudson River and Cape Cod, the sea itself became the arena of contact and conflict.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Please register by 10 am Monday, April 3, 2017
Description forthcoming. A reception will follow the lecture. Learn more about the speaker: Piero Boitani, Sapienza Università di Roma
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
As part of a citywide celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks marking the one-hundredth anniversary of her birth, the Newberry will gather poets, scholars, historians, and archivists to discuss the historical context of Brooks’ groundbreaking first book of poems, A Street in Bronzeville.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Other Programs
A Memorial Tribute Concert for Norman Pellegrini
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Created by Donald Knight, this year’s Faces of Love concert will feature music by Brahms, Verdi, Ned Rorem, and Stephen Sondheim, beautifully performed by Erich Buchholz (tenor), Alex Honzen (baritone), Kimberly McCord (soprano), and special assisting artist, Marcie Tilkin (soprano).
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
A lecture description will be added soon.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
The adoption of firearms by American Indians between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries marked a turning point in the history of North America’s indigenous peoples—a cultural earthquake so profound that its impact has yet to be adequately measured.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
One hundred years ago, Bohemian author and editor of the radical Masses magazine, Floyd Dell, began a passionate affair with a newcomer to Greenwich Village—the yet to be discovered “girl poet,” Edna St. Vincent Millay. In the years that followed, both Dell and Millay became symbols of early twentieth century feminism, rebellion, and literary freedom.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
An Early Modern Studies Symposium
Please register by 10 am Friday, April 28, 2017
Twitter hashtag for the symposium: #NLEM17
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Other Programs
Free and open to the public; no tickets or registration required
“From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive: They sparkle still the right Promethean fire; They are the books, the arts, the academes, That show, contain, and nourish all the world.”
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Meet the Author
A Meet the Author Program
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Sharp, resourceful, and with a style all her own, Althea McDowell Altemus embodied the spirit of the independent working woman of the Jazz Age.
Friday, May 26, 2017
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
This program highlights indigenous concepts of identity and sexuality that surpass standard contemporary gender binaries. American Indian and other indigenous communities have historically celebrated multiple gender identifications, including two-spirit peoples, as well as the unique roles that women and men contribute to warrior societies, political leadership, and home life.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Other Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Join Jane Kamensky as she speaks about her book A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley. In this bold new history, Kamensky recovers an unknown American Revolution as seen through the eyes of Boston-born painter John Singleton Copley.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Other Programs
The Newberry Library and the Washington Square Park Advisory Council invite you to come out to the park for a celebration of music on the first day of summer! Our lineup, which will be posted as soon as it’s available, will feature spirited performances around a piano in the park. Limited seating is available in the park, but feel free to bring a chair to relax and join in on the fun!
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Other Programs
Wing Foundation Lecture Series on the History of the Book
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
The year 2017 marks the centenary of the death of John M. Wing, the remarkable and eccentric collector whose bequest founded the Newberry’s John M. Wing Collection on the History of Printing.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Other Programs
Colonial History Lecture Series
Free and open to the public; no registration required.
Nathaniel Philbrick will speak about his latest book, Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, which appeared for seven consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has been named a finalist for the New England Independent Booksellers Association 2016 New