Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Newberry Library

The Newberry Library, Chicago's Independent Research Library Since 1887.

The Newberry Library. Image courtesy of the Newberry Library.
Front entrance, as seen from North Dearborn Street.
 Image courtesy of the Newberry Library.
"The Newberry acquires and preserves a broad array of books, manuscripts, maps, and other materials relating to the civilizations of Europe and the Americas. We focus our collecting on original or primary source materials – such as manuscripts and early editions of printed books and maps – that will be preserved and made available for generations. In doing so, we aspire to enhance the great collection strengths that have been built by curators, librarians, other scholars, and donors throughout the library’s history.
We also selectively acquire secondary literature – scholarly editions of primary sources, reference tools, monographs, journals, and digital resources – in order to facilitate access to and use of our original source materials."

Core Collections

The Newberry Core Collections
  • American History & Culture
    • American Literature
    • Discovery & exploration of the Americas
    • History of the Colonial Period, Revolutionary Era, & Early Republic
    • Westward Expansion
    • Civil War & Reconstruction
    • Genealogy
    • Religion
  • American Indian & Indigenous Studies
    • Native American Archaeology, Ethnology, Art, & Language
    • History of the Contact between Europeans & Native Peoples
    • Voyages, Travels, & Accounts of Early America
    • Development of Cartography of the Western Hemisphere
    • Philippine & Hawaiian History
  • Maps, Travel, & Exploration
    • Manuscript Accounts
    • Printed (published) Accounts
    • Guidebooks
    • Travel Ephemera
    • Related Collections of Original Source Literature of Geographical Interest
    • Local histories
    • Art, views, illustrations, & photographs
    • Secondary Literature
The Newberry Digital Resources
  • Ayer Art Digital Collection
    • "This collection of over 500 images hints at the rich visual material on American Indian history and culture found within the Library's world-renowned Ayer Collection. In 1911, Edward E. Ayer (1841-1927) donated more than 17,000 pieces on the early contacts between American Indians and Europeans. Ayer, a member of the Library's first Board of Trustees, was the first donor of a great collection to the Newberry. Since then, the Ayer endowment has enabled the Library to collect in excess of 130,000 volumes, over 1 million manuscript pages, 2000 maps, 500 atlases, 11,000 photographs and 3500 drawings and paintings relating to the discovery, exploration and settlement of the Americas." 
  • "Border Troubles in the War of 1812" Virtual Exhibit
    • "This exhibition refocuses our attention on the conflict in the area then known as the West: firsthand accounts of warfare; territorial struggles between Indian nations and the United States; an East Coast print culture that romanticized wartime life in the Great Lakes region; and representations of the war in textbooks and other histories of the United States."
  • Great Lakes Digital Collection
    • "This collection features nearly 550 images of Illinois and the Great Lakes region from the French period of exploration and settlement to the early 20th century. Most of the images in the Great Lakes Collection are maps: printed maps of late colonial and early America; manuscript maps on early Illinois history; maps that document the growth and settlement of Illinois; maps showing the development of the State's transportation system; sections from 19th century county atlases; maps of the Chicago region; and, a selection of USGS topographic sheets. The Great Lakes Collection also includes a representative sampling of the Newberry's visual sources for the study of [North] American Indians. "
  • "Indians of the Midwest: An Archive of Endurance" Virtual Exhibit
    • "this exhibition focuses on the largely Algonquian and Siouan cultural region of the Great Lakes.  Native peoples of this region have long been at the cultural crossroads created by intertribal relations, the rise of the fur trade, colonialism, and finally Euro-American settlement.  From the ascendancy of Cahokia, the largest indigenous urban center north of Mexico, in what is now central Illinois, to the struggles for American Indian civil rights in the mid-twentieth century, the Midwest remains an Indian space."
  • Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country: 200 Years of American History Virtual Exhibit
    • "this website explores how these two histories, that of the United States and that of Indian peoples along the expedition route, came together two hundred years ago and how they remain intertwined today. "
  • Mapping the French Empire in North America Virtual Exhibit
    • "The exhibit presents maps, images, and text from three distinct geographical regions: The Maritimes and the Saint Lawrence River Valley; The Great Lakes and the Upper Mississippi Valley; and the Caribbean and the Lower Mississippi Valley."
  • North American Photographs
    • "This selection of photographs of Midwestern Indian tribes—Menominee, Ojibwa, Winnebago, Santee, Yankton, and Yantonai—is derived from a much larger collection of over 6,000 images of North American Indians in the Newberry Library's world-renowned Edward E. Ayer Collection. In collecting contemporary 19th and early 20th century photographs, Ayer sought to document Indian experience during his own lifetime. The images he assembled, mainly posed studio portraits together with some outdoor and candid scenes, provide an invaluable visual record of away of life that was rapidly changing. They also document the rapid spread of photographic technology and provide evidence of local photographers and photographic studios throughout the Midwest. "

The Newberry Research Centers
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