Skip to main content

Newberry Library postcard collection

Identifier: Midwest-MS-NL

Scope and Content of the Collection

Fifty-four postcards including many duplicates, of views of the Newberry Library in Chicago, some without message and most written before 1915.

Cards were written by both Chicago residents and visitors. Most were published by Chicago publishers, but also by firms in New York, Milwaukee. and San Francisco, and many were printed in Germany, sometimes with embellishment or extra coloring added. No messages refer to actually visiting the library, and as one correspondent says, “…still collecting souvenir postals”, and another writes: “This is the library I have mentioned several times. It is just two blocks from my boarding house.” There are the usual abbreviated postcard greetings: “Great place”, “Some town”, “A kiss from Alma”, “I miss you very much”, as well as the amusing 1906: “We arrived safe in Chicago…nothing unusual has happened found we had an extra satchel with nothing in it…”.


  • Creation: 1898-1945
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1898-1915



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Newberry Library postcard collection is the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

History of the Newberry Library

Chicago’s Newberry Library, open to the public without charge, is an independent research library dedicated to the advance of knowledge, especially in the humanities.

The Library was founded as a public library by a bequest of Walter Loomis Newberry, a businessman, prominent citizen, founder of the Young Men’s Library Association, active book collector, and president of the Chicago Historical Society before his death in 1868. After three temporary locations, in 1893 the Library moved into architect Henry Ives Cobb’s Romanesque building at 60 W. Walton Street, across from Washington Square Park.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)


Collection of postcards with images of the Newberry Library, most mailed with messages to addressees, dating mainly from 1898-1915. Several copies of a later postcard with postmarks dating from 1939 to 1945, shows the Newberry Library, the John Crerar Library, the Harper Memorial Library, and the Chicago Public Library.


Organized by views and publisher, and arranged chronologically by publication date.

Collection Stack Location

1 26 5


Gift, Pepe Tassin, 2009; Jeffrey Rigby, 2011.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2011.

Inventory of the Newberry Library postcard collection, 1898-1945, bulk 1898-1915
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States