Access to the Newberry Reading Rooms

The Newberry Reading Rooms are open to all Readers at least 14 years old or in the ninth grade, regardless of academic affiliation. To request and use material, you must first register for a Newberry Online Account. You will be asked to create a username and password for your account. Once your account is created, you may request material through our online catalog and manuscript finding aids.

By pressing the button below, you acknowledge and agree to all of the following terms and conditions:

Newberry Rules of Conduct

The Newberry is an independent, private research library and educational institution dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge. We seek to provide for and promote the effective use of our collection and programs by a diverse community of researchers and learners. To this end, we offer free of charge the following privileges.

  • Exhibitions and public programs
  • Assistance from library staff and volunteers
  • Access to collection materials in the reading rooms, for those who obtain reader cards.

In order to maintain an environment that is conducive to research, education, and learning, all who visit the Newberry – whether on its grounds or in its public areas, galleries, event spaces, and reading rooms – are expected to be engaged in Newberry-related activities, and to refrain from the following:

  • Disrupting or interfering with the normal operations of the library, or disturbing staff or other library visitors (for example, making excessive or disruptive noise that distracts others, blocking passageways or shelves, neglecting personal hygiene, creating a mess with possessions, performing personal grooming in public areas)
  • Bringing to the upper floors of the building backpacks, briefcases, or handbags larger than 12”x9”; bulky outerwear; or umbrellas. These items may be securely stored, free of charge, in the lockers on the first floor or the lower level. Bags (including handbags) smaller than 12” x 9” are allowed on the upper floors. Transparent plastic bags for transporting computers, research material, and other personal items to the upper floors are available at the Greeter’s Desk without charge. All items brought to the upper floors are subject to inspection upon exit. Please note that additional rules apply in the reading rooms.
  • Eating or drinking outside of specifically designated areas
  • Smoking or using tobacco products
  • Entering the building without shoes, or in a state of undress
  • Taking photographs of readers, other visitors, or staff without their permission
  • Bringing animals into the library, other than dogs trained to assist with disabilities
  • Sleeping in the building
  • Disruptive use of mobile devices
  • Entering a controlled or restricted area of the building without explicit permission

The following conduct is explicitly prohibited and will result in loss of access to the Newberry.

  • Engaging in disorderly or harassing actions (sexual conduct or lewd behavior, threatening behavior toward staff or other users, stalking staff or users in the building or upon departure from the building, obscene or abusive language or gestures)
  • Possessing a gun, knife, or other weapon inside the Newberry
  • Damaging Newberry property, including collection items, furniture, or the building, or the property of others
  • Disabling Newberry equipment, including computing equipment, changing its hardware or software or settings, or using Newberry equipment for a purpose other than that designated by the Newberry
  • Engaging in any illegal activity, including using illegal drugs

This list is not intended to be comprehensive, and the Newberry reserves the right to designate other actions or behaviors as unacceptable if, in our view, they are causing disruption. Additional rules apply in the reading rooms.

Using the Reading Rooms

  • Materials do not circulate outside of the library
  • Food and drink are not allowed
  • Pencils, not pens, must be used
  • All personal items including backpacks, briefcases, oversize bags, large outdoor jackets, and laptop bags must be stored in one of the lockers provided in the Lobby. Handbags (under a certain size) are allowed and must be kept closed and be kept away from library materials.
  • Items must remain in their respective reading room. Do not take items from one room to another or exchange materials with other readers.
  • Readers may not push on bindings, stand on tables/chairs, or hold up materials.
  • Materials are only to be used on designated tables in the Reading Room and are not to be used at the computer tables.
  • Personal digital cameras are allowed in the reading rooms, however, use of a flash, outside lights, tripods, templates, or other equipment is prohibited and use of personal scanners is not allowed. When taking photos, the preservation needs of the material outweigh the technical limitations of the camera.
  • Photography of other readers or library staff is prohibited.
  • Reproductions of materials can be provided by Newberry staff; see reading room staff for options.
  • Use of laptops and electronic tablets is allowed. Laptops and other items should not obstruct the view of materials from the reading room desk staff.

Using Library Materials

The unique and fragile nature of many of the Newberry's collections demands that we take special steps to preserve these items for future generations. We ask you to join our efforts by following our security and conservation rules. While using Newberry materials, please follow these rules:

  • Use extreme care when handling materials. Staff will provide futons, book weights, and book stands as necessary. Materials must remain flat on the desk or in the stand/cradle provided.
  • Handle library materials with clean, dry hands; staff will provide gloves as appropriate.
  • Never add or erase marks in any materials.
  • Nothing should be placed directly on top of materials or folders containing materials, such as elbows, laptops, pencils, magnifying equipment, etc. Note taking on top of materials or folders containing materials is prohibited.
  • Do not use ordinary paper (or Post-It notes) to mark your place in a book. Acid-free bookmarks are available at the desk.
  • All material must remain in the order in which it was found in the container.
  • If you find uncut pages, please bring the item to the circulation desk. Never try to cut them yourself.
  • Carefully unfold and refold maps and fold-outs. If the item is large or you are unsure of the folding sequence, see reading room staff for assistance.
  • Materials are only to be used on designated tables in the Reading Room and are not to be used at the computer or microfilm tables.

Important Information Concerning Copyright, Reproduction, and Publication

The Newberry makes its collections available for any lawful purpose, commercial or non-commercial, without licensing or permission fees to the library, subject to the following terms and conditions.

  • The library reserves the right to prohibit the photography of any of its collections.
  • The reproduction of some collection materials may require the permission of a curator. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish.
  • Researchers must adhere to any and all restrictions governing the use, reproduction, and publication of specific collections.
  • Use of reproductions of Newberry collection items shall be at the user's sole risk. Researchers are responsible for determining whether the material is in the public domain or whether it is protected by copyright law or other restrictions.
  • If the material is protected by copyright law, researchers are responsible for determining whether the intended use is within the limits of fair use and, if not, for obtaining permission from any rights holders.
  • For more information on permissions to reproduce, quote, and publish materials from the Newberry collections, please see the Rights and Reproductions page on the Newberry website.


Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproductions of copyrighted material. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The Newberry reserves the right to refuse to accept any copying or reproduction order, in its sole discretion. Users are responsible for securing permission from copyright owners and payment of such additional fees as the owners may require if the Newberry does not own copyright or if the material is not in the public domain. Applicants assume all responsibility for asking and answering questions of copyright and invasion of privacy that may arise in copying and in the use made of the photographic copy or other reproduction. Acceptance of a reproduction request by the Newberry does not mean that the Newberry has made any determination of any copyright or related matters concerning the request. Use of reproductions of Newberry collection items shall be at the user's sole risk.

Data Collection and Use Policy

The Newberry is committed to protecting the confidentially of library records. The Newberry endorses the statements of the American Library Association (ALA) and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) regarding the confidentiality of library records. The Newberry may retain indefinitely information collected from your online Request Account, including registration, circulation, duplication and publishing requests, as well as related correspondence. We may use this information for administration and maintenance of collections or library operations. In addition, we may be required to provide information to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request; to detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues; and to protect the rights, property or safety of the library, its users or others. We do not retain or store personal financial information, including credit card or other payment transaction information. See the Newberry website's page on privacy for more information about the Newberry's overall privacy policies.

Aeon FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Before registering, you may wish to read the Aeon FAQ. The FAQ may answer other questions you have about the Aeon Special Collections Management System.

By pressing this button you acknowledge and agree to all of the terms and conditions above. Please pay particular attention to the copyright statement. After reading this information, you can press the "Accept Terms and Conditions" button to continue.