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Welcome to the Newberry

‘History’ reading room ca. 1900

‘History’ reading room ca. 1900

The Newberry is a fantastic place – if you’re interested in national or local history, genealogy, maps, seminars, performances, exhibits – there is something for you. The Newberry offers free tours to the public, genealogy orientations, and some group visits. Click here to find out about tours and orientations.

Here is some useful information regarding Newberry seminars and the library’s facilities.


The first floor of the Newberry has a new welcome center and a readers’ lounge with free coffee and tea. Enter where the bookstore used to be, east of the main door. The bookstore has moved, replacing one of the galleries. It’s accessible from the main hall on the east side or from the readers’ lounge.


The Newberry does not have a visitors’ parking lot. The lot behind the building is permit-only and the Newberry retains the right to tow any cars parked without permission. Metered parking is usually available on the streets near the library. Daytime and evening parking restrictions apply, so be sure to read posted signs. The Newberry’s website also mentions the parking garage at 100 W. Chestnut (enter on Clark street).


The Newberry’s bookstore, now called the Rosenberg Bookshop (in honor of two generous donors), orders the required texts for our seminars. Please check with the bookstore for availability. Associates of the Newberry at the Author Level receive a 10-percent discount on all books and other items in the store.

NOTE: As of March 2020, all classes meet online via Zoom.

Most seminars meet in the basement or on the first floor, but everyone who proceeds above the first floor will be required to check nearly all their belongings (including bags, coats, umbrellas, etc.) in lockers. Generally, food and drink is allowed in the basement and first floor, but is not allowed above the security boundary.

Seminar room assignments are posted daily in multiple locations at the library. Class locations are subject to change, and these daily postings will reflect any such changes. Class names are also posted in front of the rooms.

Entrance to seminar classrooms cannot be guaranteed any more than 30 minutes prior to your class start time. The classrooms are in high demand by other programs at the Newberry, and sometimes events are scheduled very tightly. If you arrive more than 30 minutes before a class, you can wait in the bookstore, exhibits, or in the readers’ lounge on the first floor.


The north entrance to the library (off of Oak Street facing the parking lot) is wheelchair-accessible.


To access the Newberry’s collections (which are free and open to the public), you”ll need to create an account on the Newberry’s online system, Aeon. During reading room hours, you can come to the library ahd get assistance from a librarian to create your acount. To complete your registration and receive a reader’s card, you will need to provide a valid photo ID and proof or current home address. For more information, click here.