Illustration: Hawk Krall

For the trouble of filling out a simple form, you can don gloves and get your hands on some of the Newberry’s prized possessions, including:

  • a 1623 Shakespeare First Folio
  • medieval Christian devotional books
  • The Red Man’s Greeting, a protest booklet sold by Potawatomi chief Simon Pokagon at the 1893 world’s fair
  • 15th-century navigational charts of the Mediterranean coast
  • a 1916 Sanborn Map Company fire insurance map of Chicago
  • an 1851 first edition of Moby-Dick
  • a 1956 postcard bearing a one-word message—“boo!”—from Jack Kerouac to his editor