Schomburg Research Center Visit - Essay Example

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It serves as a repository archive for information about people bearing African origins (Casper 31). This paper will write a brief history of the center and Arturo Schomburg’s…
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Schomburg Research Center Visit
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Schomburg Research Center Visit The Schomburg Center, located in Harlem, is a research library of the New York Public Library. It serves as a repository archive for information about people bearing African origins (Casper 31). This paper will write a brief history of the center and Arturo Schomburg’s relation with it.
In 1901, Andrew Carnegie donated five million dollars to construct a library in New York with 65 branches (Casper 33). The library opened its doors in 1905 with 10,000 books. In 1920, Ernestine Rose, the then branch librarian, integrated an all white staff. The first African American, Catherine Latimer, was later hired and cooperated with schools and social organizations to integrate reading into the lives of the library attendees. They held the first African American exhibition in 1921, making the library a focal point to the growing Harlem Renaissance. In 1923, a librarian, Rose, reported that requests for books on Negros were increasing, as well as the demand for professional, colored librarians (Casper 39). In 1824, Rose organized a meeting and discussed reserving rare books and soliciting donations to enhance their African American collection.
Among the attendees was Arturo Schomburg. Arturo Schomburg was a writer and historian from Puerto Rico. Over the years, he had built a collection of art, literature, slave narratives and an assortment of materials on African history. In 1925, the library opened a division specializing in Negro history, literature and prints. In 1926, Schomburg sold them his collection on condition that it remains in Harlem. Schomburg became the curator of his collection in 1932, a position he held until his death (Casper 40). A new Schomburg Center was founded at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard in 1980, and in 1981, the building that originally held the Schomburg Collection became a designated New York City Landmark.
The resources available at the Center include the Art and Artifacts section, the Research and Reference section, the Photographs and Prints section, the Jean Blackwell Hutson General section, the Moving Image and Recorded Sound section and the Rare Books section (Dodson et al 74). Apart from conducting research on books, the Center also includes wine tasting activities, black and jazz periodicals, musical recordings and art objects (Dodson et al 71).
Works Cited
Casper, Jordan. Handbook of Black Librarianship. 2nd ed. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2000. Print.
Dodson Howard, Moore Christopher and Yancy Roberta. The Black New Yorkers: The Schomburg illustrated chronology. New York: John Wiley, 2000. Print. Read More
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