An Acclaimed Personal Collection
Puerto Rican-born black scholar Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was an avid collector of art, literature and other African history such as slave narratives. The Schomburg Center got its start in 1926 when his vast personal collection of materials documenting black life were added to the New York Public Library’s Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints in the Harlem branch. Schomburg curated the collection until he passed away in 1938, and in 1940 the Center was renamed to honour the historian, writer, bibliophile and activist.
In 1972 it became the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and designated as one of the research libraries of the New York Public Library.