Chicago Area Special Collections members visited the Newberry Library the morning of Friday, June 14th to explore the recently renovated first floor and enjoy a curator’s tour of The Legacy of Chicago Dance, the Newberry’s special exhibition (open until July 6th).
We met for breakfast in one of the Newberry’s newly remodeled spaces and then learned about the library’s collection strengths while touring the recently-reinstalled permanent exhibition From the Stacks. Curators Will Hansen, Suzanne Karr Schmidt, and Matt Rutherford presented some highlights from the exhibition and discussed their philosophies toward expanding and exhibiting the Newberry’s diverse collections. Next, Jo Ellen Dickie led the group on a tour of the new Welcome Center and pointed out improvements to the exhibition spaces, first-floor classrooms, and lobby. Chris Fletcher then demonstrated the Newberry’s new “smart room,” which features technology that allows instructors to magnify collection materials and switch seamlessly between the projected image and online content, thereby facilitating instruction and discussion in the classroom.
We ended with a guided tour of The Legacy of Chicago Dance, led by curators Alison Hinderliter and Sam Smith. Exhibition highlights included toe shoes from famous ballerinas, a letter from Gene Kelly, videos of historical dance routines, and a costume worn by dancer-choreographer Sybil Shearer. After the tour, CASC members chatted with Newberry employees over lunch and explored the library’s reading rooms and closed stacks with Jo Ellen Dickie.
Thank you to our friends at the Newberry Library for a fascinating visit!