Busman’s Holiday, Part One

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I have just returned from Chicago. While there I had the delight of visiting the famous Newberry Library …a place I have long wanted to visit and yet on my various trips to Chicago, have never seemed to make it uptown to tour.

Located in north Chicago, the Newberry is a world-class library in the humanities and in geneological studies. Begun in 1887 as a public library through the bequest of Walter L. Newberry, it became a research library once the Chicago Public Library became a thriving institution.

The first trustees wrote that the Newberry Library should be  a “library for scholars and people desiring to make careful researches.” The collections have grown through the years and include illuminated manuscripts, rare maps, manuscripts and papers from important Midwest authors and from Chicago politicians, sheet music, genealogical resources, and materials related to the history and culture of Western Europe and the Americas.

The Newberry has a rich variety of programming and exhibits — I wish it were closer!
While I was visiting I had the opportunity to view two marvelous calligraphy exhibits related to the Chicago Calligraphy Collective. The Newberry has a calligraphy collection as a part of it’s fine printing holdings and a number of beautiful examples of the Calligraphic Purchase Prize Winners were on display. To give you an idea of the beauty of these pieces, I am including, below, a view of artist Julie Wildman’s piece “Psalm 117”, which was a 2007 Purchase Prize recipient.

I was able to spend a little time in the genealogy research area, looking up my Irish ancestors and now have a researchers card that I can use on my next visit! If you happen to be traveling to Chicago, this is a lovely place to visit for an afternoon.

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