The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of The New York Public Library is generally recognized as the world’s leading research library devoted exclusively to documenting the history and cultural development of peoples of African descent worldwide. From its founding in 1925 during the Harlem Renaissance, the Center has amassed vast collections of over 10 million items. Resource materials are organized by format into five distinct divisions: General Research and Reference; Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books; Photographs and Prints; Moving Image and Recorded Sound; and Art and Artifacts. A cultural center as well as a repository, the Schomburg Center also sponsors a wide array of interpretive programs, including exhibitions, scholarly and public forums and cultural performances.
Group presentations are geared towards providing information about the holdings, special databases, and how to obtain access to the resources in each division. Talks can also be focused on specific topics, such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, 1960s Civil Rights Movement, black photographers and artists. Collection items from the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books, Photographs and Prints, and Art and Artifacts divisions can be displayed during the presentations. Short /brief video clips from holdings in the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division can also be shown to groups.
Visits can be scheduled for the following: K-12 teachers, college and university professors and students, professionals (e.g., librarians, archivists, museum personnel), and book clubs, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 pm, by appointment only. Allow 20 to 30 minutes minimum per division.
For research consultations for class groups, please contact the division directly or call (212) 491-2218.
Requests for presentations to classes/groups:
The presentations are held in the reading rooms of the collection divisions. Groups can elect to visit all five divisions or specific divisions. For reservations, please complete the Presentation Request Form. Fax the completed form to 212 491 2037.
After your request is received, you will be contacted by email or telephone to discuss the details and logistics of your request. Once your visit is confirmed, you will receive a confirmation email or fax within 48 hours (business days). Please present your confirmation form at the security desk when you arrive at the Schomburg Center.
If you are more than 15 minutes late you should call ahead.
If you must cancel a scheduled tour, please call 24 hours in advance at (212) 491-2226.