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Record Group 03: Office of the President and Librarian, 1858-ongoing

 Record Group
Identifier: NL Archives 03

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

From its founding in 1887 until 2022, the Newberry Library has had nine Librarians, including William F. Poole (1887-1894), John Vance Cheney (1894-1909), W. N. C. Carlton (1909-1920), George B. Utley (1920-1942), Stanley Pargellis (1942-1962), Lawrence W. Towner (1962-1986), Charles T. Cullen (1986-2005), David Spadafora (2005-2019), and Daniel Greene (2019-present). Appointed in 1887 by Newberry estate Trustees Blatchford and Bradley to organize the new library, William F. Poole worked under close Trustee supervision. Until 1914, when Trustee President E. W. Blatchford died, most aspects of library administration were controlled by the Trustees, a practice that diminished steadily, first in personnel matters and library organization, and later in book selection, under librarians Carlton, Utley, and Pargellis. The transfer of administrative responsibility to the Librarian was formalized in Bylaws revisions during the Towner years and is reflected in job title changes: Director and Librarian, 1965-1974, President and Librarian, 1975-present.


  • Creation: 1858-ongoing


Conditions Governing Access

The Newberry Library Archives are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Unprocessed records are available by appointment only. Advance notice is necessary, particularly for administrative files, so that files may be screened for personnel records that are removed when records are processed.

Files containing personal or confidential information about individuals (including individual files on members of the Board of Trustees, individual donor files and records reporting the donations of an individual, personnel records, payroll records, and individual accepted fellows files) are closed for 30 years.


160 Linear Feet


Organized in nine subgroups: William F. Poole Papers (03/01), John Vance Cheney Papers (03/02), W. N. C. Carlton Papers (03/03), George B. Utley Papers (03/04), Stanley Pargellis Papers (03/05), Lawrence W. Towner Papers (03/06), Charles T. Cullen Papers (03/07), President and Librarian's Office Records (03/20), and Office of the Vice President Records (03/21).

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States