The Newberry is an independent research library in Chicago, Illinois. They offer digitized collections at Digital Newberry.


The Newberry is free and open to the public. Access to some collections at Digital Newberry is by fee only.



Digital Newberry Collections Free to the Public


  • Atlas of Historical County Boundaries – every county in the United States, from the earliest county creation in the 1600s to 2000.
  • Chicago Genealogist, The Chicago Genealogist is a quarterly journal published continuously since 1969 by the Chicago Genealogical Society.
  • Curt Teich Postcard Archives Digital Collection -over a half-million unique postcard images.
  • Age of Exploration – Explore five centuries of journeys across the globe, scientific discoveries, the expansion of European colonialism, conflict over territories and trade routes, and decades-long search and rescue attempts in this multi-archive collection dedicated to the history of exploration.
  • CB&Q: Building an Empire – The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CB&Q) was one of the largest and most significant railroads in the United States, controlling transportation over much of the nation between the Rockies and the Mississippi River. This gallery features images of materials from the CB&Q Archives – letters, reports, photographs, maps, drawings, posters, and more – relating to these and other subject areas and topics. It is intended to introduce researchers to the collection’s diverse content and to direct them to relevant materials via links to the online inventory. Essentially, the gallery serves as a visual subject index to the records.
  • Chicago Ancestors – ChicagoAncestors is a project of the Genealogy and Local History section of the Newberry. The project is intended to help genealogists and local historians discover and share historical information about Chicago.
  • Digital Collections for the Classroom – Newberry Digital Collections for the Classroom are thematic collections of primary source documents selected from the Newberry’s extensive holdings.
  • Emblemata Politica in Context – From the earliest days of print, authors, artists, and printers looked for new ways to combine words and images together to bring lessons and ideas to a wide range of audiences. One of the most popular innovations in this vein was the emblem book, which began to appear in the second half of the sixteenth century.
  • Encyclopedia of Chicago – Through this online resource, readers of the Encyclopedia of Chicago can navigate a broadly metropolitan place and history.
  • Foreign Language Press Survey – The Foreign Language Press Survey is a collection of translated newspaper articles that were originally published in Chicago in languages other than English between the 1860s and the 1930s.
  • French Renaissance Paleography – The French Renaissance Paleography site is a self-help tool that presents over 100 carefully selected French manuscripts written between 1300 and 1700, with tools for deciphering them and learning about their social, cultural, and institutional settings. Users can practice transcribing the documents, and also page through a dozen historical calligraphy books and view a half-dozen historical maps.
  • Frontier to Heartland – By combining image galleries and original scholarship, this exhibit explores how central North America first became known as the “Frontier” and eventually as the “Heartland.”
  • Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms – Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms is a resource for teachers and students developed by the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography.
  • Humanism for Sale – This digital resource examines the ways books were written, designed, printed, and marketed for schools in Renaissance Italy.
  • Indians of the Midwest – On “Indians of the Midwest,” you can explore important issues, learn how to do further research, and gain an introduction to the research methods that underlie scholars’ findings.
  • Make Big Plans: Daniel Burnham’s Vision of an American Metropolis – This web resource critically examines the historical place and impact of Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett’s landmark 1909 Plan of Chicago within the wider development of visions of the American metropolis.
  • Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in 20th Century Chicago – Featuring archival documents and contextual essays on the literature of Chicago in connection with the unique urban, economic, and cultural history of the city, this collection includes items from Arthur Conan Doyle, Kate Chopin, Ben Hecht and many others.
  • Mapping Movement in American History and Culture – This online archive and companion to the study, interpretation, and educational use of American maps of movement features more than 500 images of maps and accompanying text drawn from the extensive collections of the Newberry Library, from the European explorers’ maps to modern aviation cartography.
  • Mexican Hometown Association Oral Histories – Hometown associations, or clubes de oriundos, are organizations created by migrants and immigrants to assist people in their communities of origin. The Mexican Hometown Associations Oral History Project preserves the work and life of 23 leaders of these associations in the Chicago area.
  • Out of Many: Religious Pluralism in America – Including digitized primary sources from the Newberry’s collection, contextual information, and discussion questions, this site features curricular resources to integrate the study of America’s religious diversity into introductory courses across the humanities.
  • Polyglots: The Bible in Multiple Tongues, 1502-1657 – This resource introduces the great polyglot Bibles of the early modern period. These editions of the Bible displayed multiple translations side-by-side and are monuments to early modern religious devotion, scholarship, and craftsmanship. Through this resource, you can learn more about their creation and use.
  • Popol Vuh (Wuj) Online – In an effort to make the Popol Vuh more widely available and reduce non-essential handling of the text, the Newberry has worked with Ohio State University to make this invaluable text available through this online resource.
  • The Bible in Print – The Bible was at the heart of religious change between 1450 and 1700. Through the images and texts on this interactive map, you can learn about some of the Newberry’s most important Bibles and gain a sense of how the different editions shaped religion, intellectual culture, identity, politics, and language in ways that continue to resonate today.
  • The Religious Geography of Venice – Giovanni Merlo’s large-scale engraved map displays the rich diversity of religious life in early modern Venice. This interactive site allows you to explore the Venetian landmarks, minority enclaves, churches, convents and monasteries, processions, and printing centers.
  • Tracking the Luther Controversy – This interactive map will help you understand what early modern people called the “Luther Affair” (causa Lutheri). Through publications from the Newberry collection, the debates between Luther and his Catholic opponents come to life again. You can see how these writers used the printing press to share their vision of Christianity with a public that hung on their every word.
  • Translating French History, 1500-1850 – Translating French History, 1500-1850, presents a gallery of student translations drawn from the Newberry’s collection of French pamphlets.
  • Voices of Reform – This resource allows users to listen to a range of compositions reflecting the diverse vocal manifestations of early modern music.
  • Writing the Voices of the Americas – This timeline allows users to visualize the process by which European missionaries sought to learn and utilize languages entirely new to them. Featuring a variety of books, pamphlets, and images, Writing the Voices of the Americas reveals the persistence of indigenous languages and the diversity of native religious practices that often became intertwined with Christian rituals.




Digital Newberry Collections by Subscription


  • American Indian Newspapers – American Indian Newspapers aims to present a diverse and robust collection of print journalism from Indigenous peoples of the U.S. and Canada. Explore over more than 9,000 individual editions from 1828-2016, and discover how events were reported by and for Indigenous communities. *Access to this subscription database is available on-site through any of the Newberry’s public computers.*
  • American Indian Histories and Cultures – American Indian Histories and Cultures is a deep and wide ranging selection of visual and textual resources related to Native American culture and history. Taken from the Newberry Library’s Edward E Ayer Collection, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of American Indian history, the resource provides documents, images, context, and insight into American Indian culture and history, the European settlement of the Americas, and the interactions between the two groups. *Access to this subscription database is available on-site through any of the Newberry’s public computers.*
  • American West Collection – The story of the American West has exerted a powerful influence over the psyche of the modern world, helping to fashion senses of national identity as well as permeating literary and cinematic culture. The Graff collection is a unique resource which will allow scholars to explore all of these subject areas in great detail. *Access to this subscription database is only available on-site through any of the Newberry’s public computers.*
  • History of Mass Tourism, 1850-1980 – Featuring items from the Newberry and other institutions, this resource presents a multi-national journey through well-known, little-known, and far-flung destinations unlocked for the average traveler between 1850 and the 1980s. *Access to this subscription database is available on-site through any of the Newberry’s public computers.*
  • World’s Fairs: A Global History of Expositions – World’s Fairs: A Global History of Expositions showcases a diverse range of primary source material to represent the origination and planning of fairs, the experience of visiting them, and the physical, cultural, and political legacies they leave behind. *Access to this subscription database is available on-site through any of the Newberry’s public computers.*


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