History and Description of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.docx

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History and Description of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black CultureFormally known as the Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints,the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture was founded in1925 as a special collection of the 135thSt branch of the New York PublicLibrary. In 1926, the Division added the personal collection of ArturoAlfonso Schomburg (see photo to the right), a Puerto Rican-born Blackscholar and book collector. His collection included more than 5,000books, 3,000 manuscripts, 2,000 etchings and paintings, and severalthousand pamphlets. The Division was later renamed the SchomburgCollection of Negro Literature, History and Prints in 1940, in honor ofSchomburg after his death in 1938. In 1972, the collection wasdesignated as one of the Research Libraries of the New York PublicLibrary and received the name it has today – the Schomburg Center forResearch in Black Culture. As one of the world’s leading institutions on the research, preservation,and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences, the Schomburg Center continues to shed light on global black history, arts, and culture for all those who visit.In 2015, the Schomburg Center received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries recognized for their service to the local community. The Center was also named a National Historical Landmark in 2017 by the National Park Service, in recognition of its expansive collection resources that showcase the history and culture of Africans and African Americans.The Schomburg Center is composed of five research divisions – the Jean Blackwell Hutson General Research and Reference Division, the Arts and Artifacts Division, the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare books division, the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division, and the Photographs and Prints Division – each of which conducts research on different materials and sources of information, to gain insight on the history and culture of people of African descent. Both the scholarly community and generalpublic has access to the center’s collection, which includes: art objects, audio and video tapes, books, manuscripts, motion picture films, newspapers, periodicals, photographs, prints, recorded music discs, and sheet music. The Five Research Divisions of the Center1.The Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Divisioncontains more than 300,000 volumes and 25,000 microforms (microphotographic reproductions of documents) containing information about people of African descent. The majority of the sources came from geographic regions with large populations of African origins, including the African continent and surroundingislands and regions of the African Diaspora. Furthermore, the content of the resources covers disciplines within the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. For example, this division containsworks on the history of Harlem and Blacks in New York and the Northeastern region, as well as,

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