Becoming a Reader at the Newberry

Looking to do a little research between convention sessions? Take advantage of what Chicago has to offer and explore the Newberry Library. Follow our tips to make the most of your visit.

MLA participants intending to conduct research at the Newberry are encouraged to register in advance for a free reader’s card and then visit the welcome center on the first floor when they arrive to obtain an official card. A photo ID and proof of current address is required. Registering in advance not only makes signing in easier, but also saves valuable research time. When you register online you have access to the complete online catalog and can place items that you would like to view into your queue. When you arrive at the Newberry, those items can be pulled for your use so that you don’t have to spend time that day determining what to look at.

For the safety and security of the collection there are a number of rules about what kinds of material can be brought into the spaces. Visitors to the reading rooms (including those going on tours) will need to check all large bags, backpacks, and coats in the coatroom on the first floor. Clear plastic bags are available for anyone who needs them. The following link has a complete list of reading room policies:

Starting in January 2019, the Newberry’s reading room hours are as follows:

Sunday–Monday: closed
Tuesday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m.–7:00 pm
(limited staff 5:00–7:00 p.m.)
Thursday–Saturday: 10:00 a.m–5:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The Newberry is located at 60 West Walton Street and is easily accessible via the Red Line and Brown Line. There is a bus stop right outside the Newberry on Walton Street, with the #22 and #70 buses stopping at that location. If anyone is driving, the Newberry has an arrangement with a parking garage at 100 West Chestnut Street. Visitors can have their tickets validated for a discounted price.

Photos courtesy of the Newberry Library

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