Meetings and Speakers Schedule




Gift Opportunities


The Caxtonian



Bibliophile Events





Video Recordings have been made of speaker presentations at many Caxton Club events. Methods for sharing them are being explored.

September Dinner

Wednesday, September 17, 2014, Union League Club

Nancy Gwinn

“The Smithsonian Libraries — Its Treasures and Vision”

We are privileged to have as our September dinner speaker Nancy E. Gwinn, Director of the Smithsonian Libraries. The Smithsonian Libraries is the world’s largest museum library system. Consisting of 20 separate libraries whose collections range from African art to Zoology the Libraries support the wide-ranging efforts of Smithsonian researchers as well as the general public.

Dr. Gwinn has directed the Libraries since 1997 and is the longest-serving Director in the Libraries’ history. A former Fulbright scholar at Oxford, she holds a Ph.D. in American Civilization from George Washington University, an A.M.L.S. in Library Science from Michigan and a B.A. from the University of Wyoming. During her tenure as director she has guided the Libraries’ participation in the revolutionary transformation of the diffusion of knowledge through digitalization and the internet. The Libraries’ initiatives have included the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a major digital project now including the Chicago Botanic Garden, Field Museum and University of Illinois. Dr. Gwinn’s other achievements include the Libraries' new “Galaxy of Knowledge” website and expanding the Libraries’ rare book and electronic collections.

Dr. Gwinn is also a significant participant in the globalization of knowledge, serving on the governing board of the International Federation of Library Associations and representing the IFLA to the international Libraries, Archives, Museums, Monuments and Sites committee. Since 2008 she has been a member of the council overseeing RLG Programs, a global partnership of research libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions.

This evening will provide Caxtonians a valued opportunity to meet and hear from one of the world’s leaders in the preservation and distribution of books and knowledge.

September dinner: Union League Club, 65 West Jackson Boulevard. NOTE DIFFERENT TIME: spirits at 5:30, dinner at 6:30 followed by program. Dinner is $48 for members. The Smithsonian is inviting additional guests. For reservations call 312-255-3710 or email caxtonclub@newberry.org. Please reserve by noon Friday for Wednesday dinner.

October Luncheon

Friday October 10, 2014, Union League Club

Joseph R. Ornig

“The Extraordinary Literary Output of our 26th President—Theodore Roosevelt”

Chicago area businessman, Union League Club member and Roosevelt historian, Joseph R. Ornig, will speak about Theodore Roosevelt’s remarkable career as a writer. It may come as a surprise but this most versatile of our presidents was renowned in his day as an historian, biographer, essayist, and reform-minded journalist, with 40 books, 50 essays, some 469 magazine pieces, and l00,000 letters to his credit, as well as countless speeches, lectures, and State papers. Roosevelt's literary skill gave him an unmatched influence over Americans--alternately educating, persuading, entertaining--and sometimes infuriating--his readers. Ornig will discuss Roosevelt's struggles as a writer, the secret behind his productivity, his friendships with fellow writers and poets, and the literary controversies he ignited. We will hear excerpts from such works as "The Winning of the West," "African Game Trails," "Through the Brazilian Wilderness,", and "Fear God and Take Your Own Part," his tribute to the fallen in the Great War, including his son, Quentin. Photographs, magazine covers and newsreel excerpts will illustrate the talk. A group of early Roosevelt editions will be on display.

October luncheon: Union League Club, 65 West Jackson Boulevard. Luncheon buffet (main dining room on six) opens at 11:30 am; program (in a different room, to be announced) 12:30-1:30. Beginning in September the Union League Club has increased the luncheon charge to $32. Please reserve by noon Wednesday for Friday lunch.

October Dinner

October 15 at Union League, Marianna Tax Choldin, until recently at the University of Illinois (Urbana) Library, on “Censorship and Omnicensorship: Controlling the Text in Russia.”

November Luncheon

On Nov. 14, Cathy Maloney will take you on a tour of World’s Fair Gardens. This lavishly illustrated talk covers the influential gardens that shape what’s growing today. The 1893 and 1933 Chicago Fairs will be highlighted.

November Dinner

We will meet November 19 at the Union League Club. The speaker will be Michael Suarez, Rare Book School and the University of Virginia.