This weekend, I had a chance to visit the Newberry Library in Chicago and I am so pleased I had the opportunity to visit! I was in town for business purposes – to deliver a presentation for work. However, I arrived early Saturday morning so that I could take advantage of the library being open from 9-1pm.
I arrived in town at 8am and made it to the library by 9:30. Fortunately, it was only about a mile away from my hotel so it was very easy to get there. The first thing I can say is that it is a beautiful building. I love big, stately, building and Newberry Library does not disappoint.
front of the Newberry Library
painting of the Newberry Library
The check-in process was very easy, and there were nice gentlemen in the lobby to help explain all the procedures for getting checked-in and getting my reader’s card. The library has good information on the website to help prepare for the visit so there were no surprises for me throughout the process.
On my way up to the genealogy room, I did pass some gorgeous artwork, but look at this incredible family tree! It is a tree from 1880 from the Richard & Abigail Lippincott family. You can see more up-close pictures of it here.
Lippincott Family Tree, 1880
It is so detailed and absolutely amazing!
detail of the Lippincott Family Tree
Can you imagine having a family tree like that? So cool!
After getting my card, going to the 2nd floor genealogy collection and getting signed in, I was assigned a table to work at – K2.
my research table – K2
I’d done some preparation before the visit since here, most of the collection is in closed stacks and staff retrieve materials for you. You can request 3 items pulled at a time. I requested my first three and then began browsing the reference materials they do have on open shelves.
I worked through a few items in the reference collection, that even though I have access to here at home, I don’t get to the library & state archives as often as I’d like, so having some time to look was still valuable. I then also worked with many items over the course of the morning that I don’t have regular access to and that was helpful.
I wasn’t there to do any specific type of search, I was generally just looking up some information & material I can use on the genweb sites, so at least I didn’t feel pressured. It was nice just to be among the beautiful research setting and have a few hours to take in my surroundings. The staff at the library were all helpful and I can see why the Newberry Library is so well-regarded.
looking around the research room
the Chicago-related materials
I have some leads to follow-up on now which will probably take me awhile; and that’s fine by me.
If you have ever been to the Newberry Library or are planning to go, I’d love to hear from you!