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 Luncheon

Friday, September 12, 2014, Union League Club

Greg Borzo

“A Lost Piece of Chicago History, Found! Cable Cars and Their Startling Stories (1882-1906)”

Did you know that for 25 years (after horse cars and before electric trolleys), cable cars plied 82 miles of Chicago streets, carrying over one billion passengers, all the while giving a huge boost to Chicago’s development as residents got to the factory gate, the office tower and department store.?

Greg Borzo, a popular, award-winning Chicago journalist and author will give an illustrated presentation (75+ images) on his well-received recent book: Chicago Cable Cars. His talk will encompass the colorful but little-known robber baron, Charles Tyson Yerkes, (also known as the Cable Car Czar, the Goliath of Graft and the Yerkes Observatory)! Come and hear about the Car Barn Bandits, said to be the most reckless and daring young desperadoes to operate in Chicagoland. Learn how exactly does a cable car system work, what was it like to actually ride in a cable car and what are some of the vestiges of the system that we are walking/riding over, meeting in and even eating in? Books will be for sale.

September 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. Luncheon is $30. Reservations suggested by noon Wednesday for Friday lunch.

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. For reservations call 312-255-3710 or email caxtonclub@newberry.org. Please reserve by noon Friday for Wednesday dinner.