5. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Image courtesy Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture/NYPL.
Located in Harlem, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is located on 515 Malcolm X Boulevard and is a research branch of the New York Public Library. The center is made up of the connected Schomburg Building, the Landmark Building, and the Langston Hughes building. The building won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2015 and it was named a National Historic Landmark in 2017.
In 1925, the Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints special collection was opened to address the desires of the modern patrons at the time. The collection gained notoriety and attention in 1926 when Arturo Alfonso Schomburg’s incredible collection of thousands of books, manuscripts, and paintings were added. Along with providing his collection, Schomburg was also the curator and the building was renamed after him following his death.
An expansion of the building took place in 1991 which included the American Negro Theatre, the Langston Hughes auditorium with 340 seats, and the center now houses over 10 million items in addition to offering concerts and lectures. The Schomburg Center for Research is one of the top regarded research facilities dedicated to preserving materials on the “global African and African diasporan experiences.”