Monday, June 15, 2009

Chicago's Newberry Library

The Newberry Library is Chicago's other public library. It was established as a free public library in 1887 with funds from the estate of Walter Loomis Newberry. Unlike the Chicago Public Library, however, the public targeted by the Newberry Library was not the general public but instead was a public made up of "scholars and people desiring to make careful researches." The collection of the Newberry is a non-circulating research collection which concentrates on the humanities. The library hosts extensive programs and exhibits. The current exhibit (through July 15, 2009) is "Make Big Plans: Daniel Burnham's Vision of the American Metropolis". The exhibit is part of the 100th anniversary celebration of Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett's 1909 Plan of Chicago. The Newberry is home to a Rudolph Continuous Indexer which was an alternative to the card catalog invented by Alexander J. Rudolph, Assistant Librarian of the Newberry Library from 1894-1911. The library occupied its impressive Romanesque style building in 1893. The exhibit, Rudolph's Indexer, and the building are all good reasons for attendees of the American Library Association Conference in Chicago (July 9 - 15) to make time for a visit to the library. More about the building can be found here. A history of the Newberry can be found here. I'm proud to be a Friend and a Facebook Fan of the Newberry Library.

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