Renovating Our First Floor | Newberry

Renovating Our First Floor

We've extended our community of learning into new parts of the library! In transforming our first floor, we're multiplying your opportunities for interacting with collections and staff—just steps after entering the Newberry.

Scroll down to see the new spaces, including our welcome center, expanded bookshop, and redesigned exhibition galleries.

Herget Welcome Center—Now Open!

If you’re new to the Newberry, start off in our welcome center, where staff and volunteers can introduce you to the library, sign you up for a reader’s card, and give you a quick orientation before you embark on your intellectual journey in our exhibition galleries, event spaces, or reading rooms.

  • Photo by Tom Rossiter

Rosenberg Bookshop—Now Open!

Your friendly Newberry-run bookshop, now with double the floorspace, offers a wide selection of books inspired by the library collections, cards, gifts, and Newberry swag.

  • Photo by Tom Rossiter
  • Photo by Tom Rossiter
  • Photo by Tom Rossiter

Hanson Gallery—Now Open!

The Hanson Gallery is the home of From the Stacks, a permanent exhibition presenting the Newberry’s collection through a range of representative items, from treasures and showstoppers to aesthetically challenged materials that nevertheless possess enormous research value. These items include printed books, maps, manuscripts, postcards, and other genres, from the later Middle Ages to the present.

The architectural centerpiece of the gallery is an 8-foot-tall, 46-foot-long climate-controlled display case running the length of the room.

Funding for From the Stacks was provided by Joan and William Brodsky.

  • View of the 46-foot-long display case running the length of the From the Stacks exhibit.
  • 15th-century chained bookbinding
  • Native American portraits by E.A. Burbank. From left to right, top to bottom: Pahl-lee (Hopi), Chief Wolf-Robe (Cheyenne), Gi-aum-e Hon-o-me-tah (Kiowa), Chief Red Cloud (Oglala Lakota), Chief American Horse (Northern Cheyenne), Chief Joseph (Nez Perce), Chief Keokuk (Sac and Fox Nation), Geronimo (Chiricahua Apache), Chief Po-ka-gon (Potawatomi), and Chief Pretty Eagle (Crow).
  • Late 18th-century German-American baptismal certificates
  • A selection of items donated to the Newberry after the 2017 Women's March in Chicago

Trienens Galleries——Now Open!

In the southwest corner of the lobby are two gallery spaces for temporary thematic exhibitions. These spaces, called the Trienens Galleries, were inaugurated September 28, 2018, with the opening of Pictures from an Exposition: Visualizing the 1893 World’s Fair.

  • This item is from the collection of Edward C. Hirschland


Welcoming visitors into our building starts outside, and continues into the entry. We’ve made a number of structural and aesthetic changes to improve the library’s visibility and accessibility.

These changes include a new, inviting landscape; a universally accessible entrance to the east of our front doors; and improvements to our vestibule that make it more inviting and more reflective of who we are as an institution.

  • New lighting designed by Schuler Shook illuminates the architectural details of the Newberry facade while expressing a more welcoming personality to the neighborhood.
  • A look at the pathway that leads visitors into our new ADA entrance, just east of the front doors
  • A new bench and landscaping, just west of our front entrance
  • An image from our vast collection of maps greets visitors as they walk through the vestibule and enter the lobby.