Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery
The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery — funded by a generous $2.5 million gift from Ruth and Sid Lapidus matched by The New York Public Library — is the only facility of its kind based in a public research library. The 2014 gift also included 400 rare items of printed material — books and documents continue to be added to the collection. Today, the collection include over 700 items, making the Schomburg Center home to one of the world’s premier collections of slavery material.
The Center's mission is to generate and disseminate scholarly knowledge on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery pertaining to the Atlantic World. The Center supports the work of researchers with long-term and short-term fellowships. Given the centrality of Atlantic slavery to the making of the modern world, the Lapidus fellowships ensure that slavery studies are a cornerstone of the Schomburg Center’s broader research community and provide a counterbalance to the contemporary direction of scholarship in African American and African Diaspora studies.
To raise awareness and historical literacy, the Lapidus Center engages the public with a variety of programs, an annual nonfiction prize, exhibitions, conferences, and partnerships with local, national, and international institutions.
MEET THE 2022-2023 COHORT OF LAPIDUS CENTER FELLOWS
The Lapidus Center offers long- and short-term fellowships to researchers who receive access to the Center's collections, opportunities to disseminate their work across Library channels, and monetary support.
Meet the 2022–2023 cohort of fellows. Learn more.
DR. TIYA MILES WINS 2022 HARRIET TUBMAN PRIZE
The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center is pleased to announce that Dr. Tiya Miles is the winner of its 2022 Harriet Tubman Prize for her book All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake. Learn more.
NOW OPEN: 2023 HARRIET TUBMAN PRIZE SUBMISSIONS
The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center is pleased to announce the opening of the competition for the 2023 Harriet Tubman Prize. The prize awards $7,500 to the best nonfiction book published in the U.S. on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World. The postmark deadline for nominating titles is December 31, 2022. If there are any questions, please contact email@example.com. Apply.
ONLINE APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR 2023-2024 LAPIDUS CENTER FELLOWS
If you are a post-doctoral scholar studying the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World, consider applying to the short and long-term fellowships at the Lapidus Center at the Schomburg Center. Fellows receive access to the Center's collections, opportunities to disseminate their work across Library channels, and monetary support. The deadline to apply is Monday, January 9, 2023. Learn more.
1-DAY POP-UP EXHIBIT ON TUES., OCT. 4 | SOJOURNER TRUTH & HER 1828 COURT RECORDS TO EMANCIPATE HER SON
On October 4 starting at 2 PM, experience a rare opportunity to view the court records of Sojourner Truth's historic 1828 legal victory to free her son from enslavement in our one-day pop-up exhibit. Plus, view a copy of Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, Emancipated from Bodily Servitude by the State of New York, in 1828 by Sojourner Truth and Olive Gilbert from the collection of our founder Arturo Schomburg. The text offers Truth's personal account of the case.
The pop-up exhibit is in support of the our program, Uncovered: Sojourner Truth's Quest for Liberty and Justice, taking place at the Schomburg Center on the same day at 6:30 PM.
This panel discussion is in collaboration with the Historical Society of the New York Courts, the New York State Archives, and the New York State Unified Court System. Learn more.
LAPIDUS CENTER ANNOUNCES FINALISTS FOR 2022 HARRIET TUBMAN PRIZE
Congratulations to Tiya Miles, Michael Garvey Professor of History at Harvard University, Olivette Otele, professor of History of Slavery and Memory of Enslavement at the University of Bristol, and Joshua D. Rothman, professor and chair of the Department of History at the University of Alabama. Each are finalists for the 2022 Harriet Tubman Prize.
The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center honors the best nonfiction book on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World published in the U.S. during the previous year.
The award will go the one of the following books Miles’s All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, Otele’s African Europeans: An Untold History, or Rothman’s The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America. The winner will be announced in November.
LAPIDUS CENTER ANNOUNCES 2022-23 FELLOWS
Congratulations to Edward Ball (Independent Scholar and Historian), Arielle X. Alterwaite (Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History, University of Pennsylvania), and Dr. David Luis-Brown (Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and English, Claremont Graduate University). The three are part of the 2022-23 class of Lapidus Center fellows. Using the Schomburg Center’s extensive collections, each will examine slavery across the Atlantic world.
DR. VINCENT BROWN WINS 2021 HARRIET TUBMAN PRIZE
The Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is pleased to announce that Dr. Vincent Brown is the winner of the 2021 Harriet Tubman Prize for his book Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War. The Harriet Tubman Prize awards $7,500 to the best nonfiction book published in the United States on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World.
Dr. Brown is the Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. (Photo of Dr. Brown is by Stephanie Mitchell)
PANDEMIC LEGACIES: HEALTH, HEALING, AND MEDICINE IN THE AGE OF SLAVERY AND BEYOND
Did you miss our talk Reading Slavery through the Archives of Healing? Want to watch our conversation Slavery, Race, and Medicine in Cuba again? Explore the Schomburg Center's Livestream channel to see every panel discussion from our Pandemic Legacies conference.
Panelists included scholars Deirdre Cooper Owens, Elise A. Mitchell, and Rana A. Hogarth.
FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2021 HARRIET TUBMAN PRIZE
Congratulations to the finalists for this year’s Harriet Tubman Prize: Erika Denise Edwards, associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Vincent Brown, professor of history at Harvard University; and Christine Walker, assistant professor of history at Yale-NUS College in Singapore.
The prize, awarded annually by the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center, will go to one of the following books: Edwards's Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic; Brown’s Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War; or Walker’s Jamaica Ladies: Female Slaveholders and the Creation of Britain's Atlantic Empire. These titles were considered by the judges to be the best nonfiction books published in the U.S. on the slave trade, slavery, and anti-slavery in the Atlantic World in the last year. The winner will be announced in November.
EXPLORE READING LIST CREATED BY LAPIDUS CENTER AND PENGUIN CLASSICS
Discover classic and contemporary novels, poetry, and nonfiction works curated by the Lapidus Center and Penguin Classics on slavery and memory in the U.S. Explore their recommended reading list.
LAPIDUS CENTER CURATOR RELEASES TWO NEW BOOKS
Through a partnership with Penguin Classics, Dr. Michelle Commander, associate director and curator of the Lapidus Center, edited the anthology Unsung: Unheralded Narratives of American Slavery & Abolition, plus developed a reading list with the publisher. Additionally, she wrote Avidly Reads: Passages, which discusses modes of transportation such as the slave ship, train, automobile, and bus as a way to trace the journeys of her ancestors in her hometown in South Carolina. Read the full story.