Digital Schomburg provides access to trusted information, interpretation, and scholarship on the global Black experience through online materials at the Schomburg Center created and curated by our staff and librarians.
Visitors can locate online articles, digital exhibitions, photographs, audio and video streams, historical projects, and external links for research in the history and cultures of the peoples of Africa and the African Diaspora.
Center staff curated a #SchomburgSyllabus to facilitate self-directed learning for students and lifelong learners. Inspired by the hashtag syllabus movement including syllabi like #FergusonSyllabus and #PRSyllabus, the project features Black-authored and Black-related online educational resources as well as materials from our collections. Information covers themes such as Afrofuturism, Black feminism, environmental racism, and religion.
Created by Schomburg Center librarians, our research guides, known to many as LibGuides, are ways to improve locating materials in the Schomburg Center’s and NYPL’s collections. Staff created guides on Arturo Schomburg, Black Feminism, Black LGBTQ+ studies, Green Book, African American Theater, and more. The 1999 digital collection of 42 published works by 19th-century Black women writers is now a reseach guide. Explore an updated version of this groundbreaking project.
The Center holds over 1,000 collections online and more than 17,000 digitized items in The New York Public Library's digital collections. Materials span the 1600s–2000s, covering the Art and Artifacts; Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference; Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books; Photographs and Prints ; and Moving Image and Recorded Sound divisions.
Schomburg Web Archive Collections
Explored archived websites relating to African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences online with a focus on online social movements, Harlem, and Schomburg Center events and projects.
Explore our Livestream archive to watch past talks with history makers such as poets Nikki Giovanni, musician George Clinton, music producer Timbaland, Harlem fashion legend Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day, acclaimed actors Cynthia Erivo and David Alan Grier. See musical performances from the cast of shows such as Porgy and Bess. There are also thought-provoking conversations with Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney, and more.
Explore past exhibitions such as 2021’s Traveling While Black: A Century of Pleasure & Pain & Pilgrimage, which featured items such as Ralph Bunche’s traveling trunks or 2018’s Only After the Deepest Darkness, which featured the newly-acquired selections of Malcolm X’s autobiographical writing. Plus, see the 2021 multimedia project ‘Til We Free, created by students in our Junior Scholars Program. The project reflects their yearlong exploration of African diasporic history, politics, literature, and art.
Podcasts: Visiting Scholars
Listen to great scholars talk passionately about their work. Find out what tomorrow’s scholarship will be about. Discover new ideas, new trends, or get fresh insights into timeless topics.
Listen to conversations celebrating black history and culture from Harlem residents to scholars and intellectuals across the African Diaspora.
Digital Schomburg’s online exhibitions—using images, full-length books and articles, manuscripts, maps, and essays by renowned scholars—present an in-depth look into specific themes. These exhibitions, some with lesson plans and educational activities, are comprehensive presentations and interpretations of essential historical, political, and cultural topics in the global black experience and, taken together, give you access to the latest research as well as tens of thousands of pages of texts and several thousand images.
Schomburg Center librarians recommend the following sites for access to free, high-quality databases of books, articles, oral histories, images, maps, interviews, and television programs. Some sites are specifically devoted to Africa and/or the African Diaspora, while others are more general but include materials of interest to research in the history and cultures of the Black world.
Explore the archive of The Schomburg Society's newsletter.