Visit to the Newberry Library

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!

Comments (5)

  1. Jana Last

    What a beautiful library! And oh! That family tree! Amazing!

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Thanks Jana for including me!

  3. Jacquie

    I love the Newberry library. I’m lucky to be living in the area and try to do there at least once a year. The catalog is on line. So before I go, I look up and print what books I want pulled. I do the same for their fabulous cartographic catalog, using place search. When I go in, I can just pick the items on my list to be pulled. Saves a bunch of time while you are there. It’s helpful if possible to see the presentation about using the library. Normally it’s given by Matthew Rutherford, Curator. He’s great.

  4. Kris

    I live in Chicago and use the Newberry for my own genealogy research. Your post was a great reminder to appreciate the treasures near and far! So happy to hear about your visit. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Chicago!

  5. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Hi Jacquie – good to know about the tour. If I get back, I shall most certainly do that.

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