Visit | Newberry


All of us at the Newberry are excited to welcome you back to the library and re-connect you with our staff, collections, and exhibitions in person again.

We’ve changed some policies based on guidelines from public health officials and with your health and safety in mind.

Please help us maintain a safe learning environment by:

  • Wearing a face mask at all times
  • Keeping a distance of at least six feet from others
  • Staying home if you are sick (or have been in contact with someone who is sick) and visiting us another time

In compliance with an emergency travel order issued by the Chicago Department of Public Health, visitors arriving from states that are experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases must quarantine for 14 days before visiting the Newberry.

Learn more in our FAQ for visitors.

The reading rooms are now open to researchers by appointment. Anyone who is at least 14 years old and curious about the humanities is invited to use our collection. Due to capacity limits in the reading rooms, we may not be able to accommodate all appointment requests, but we’ll do our best. Learn about making an appointment.

Our exhibition galleries are open, with Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s “Nova Reperta” and Decision 1920: A Return to “Normalcy” on view. Gallery hours are Tuesday - Friday, 12 - 4 pm. (The Newberry’s Rosenberg Bookshop is also open during these hours.) Appointments are not required to see our exhibitions, but visitors will have to sign in with staff in the lobby when they arrive so we can limit entry into the galleries and ensure social distancing.

Programs for students, teachers, scholars, and the public will continue to be held online for now. View the program calendar to see what’s coming up next.


How is the Newberry prioritizing the health and safety of staff and visitors?

Following guidelines from public health officials, we’ve suspended all in-person programs and events that might make social distancing difficult if not impossible. These programs have moved online and will continue to be held virtually.

To ensure visitors are able to practice social distancing in the library, we’re providing access to the reading rooms by appointment only and limiting entry into the exhibition galleries.

High-touch surfaces and equipment are being cleaned regularly, and the entire building is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected each evening.

In addition, visitors, researchers, and staff are required to wear a face mask at all times; hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the building; reading room staff are quarantining collection items after use; and signage across the library communicates and reinforces key messages promoting safety.

Are the reading rooms open for research?

The reading rooms are open by appointment. We ask that you submit your appointment request at least five business days in advance of your visit. Learn about making an appointment to use the collections in person.

Are any exhibitions open at the Newberry?

Yes! Renaissance Invention: Stradanus’s “Nova Reperta and Decision 1920: A Return to “Normalcy” are now open to the public.

What do I need to know about visiting for an exhibition?

The exhibition galleries are open Tuesday-Friday, from noon to 4 pm. Appointments are not required, but visitors must sign in with our staff in the lobby when they arrive so we can manage entry into the galleries and ensure social distancing. Capacity in the galleries is limited.

If you’d like to schedule a private group visit to the exhibition galleries, please email Due to social distancing limitations, we can accommodate groups of no more than six people. Please schedule your private tour at least one day in advance of your visit.

What about public programs, adult education seminars, and other programming?

For now, all programs for students, teachers, scholars, and the public will continue to be held virtually. View our calendar of programs to see what’s coming up next.

The fall term of our Adult Education Seminars will also take place online. Registration opens September 1. Browse the schedule of classes.

Do I really have to wear a mask at all times at the library?

Yes. Visitors and researchers without masks will not be admitted to the library. Masks must be worn while you’re anywhere inside the library.