Shelf Life | Newberry

Shelf Life

“Shelf Life” is a podcast from the Newberry Library about the humanities–and the humans behind them. Each episode features a new conversation with librarians, curators, and researchers about anything from the history of fake news to the secret lives of famous American authors.

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Splendiferous but Garish

“The fair is gorgeous, splendiferous…but garish.” That’s how 12-year-old Claire Lieber, writing in her diary, described the Century of Progress World’s Fair held in Chicago in 1933. When she was alive, Claire was the go-to source of family history for her grandson, Sam Crews. But she rarely told Sam stories about her own life. After finding Claire’s diary in the Newberry’s collection recently, Sam discovered a whole new side of his grandmother. He discusses the emotional impact the find has had on him, and how it’s reinvigorated his connection with the past and with the city he calls home.

Learn about doing your own genealogy research at the Newberry.

Splendiferous but Garish by Shelf Life, from the Newberry Library

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Sam Crews analyzes a diary and scrapbook his grandmother used to document her visits to the Century of Progress World's Fair held in Chicago in 1933.

Sam Crews analyzes a diary and scrapbook his grandmother used to document her visits to the Century of Progress World’s Fair held in Chicago in 1933.

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A page from the diary/scrapbook of Claire Lieber Crews.

A page from the diary/scrapbook of Claire Lieber Crews.

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12-year-old Claire Lieber at the 1933 world's fair in Chicago

12-year-old Claire Lieber at the 1933 world’s fair in Chicago

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A page from the diary/scrapbook of Claire Lieber Crews.

A page from the diary/scrapbook of Claire Lieber Crews.

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