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African American Genealogy: About

This guide provides a beginner's introduction to African American Genealogy research, as well as an overview of available resources at the New York Public Library and beyond.


Welcome! The focus of this research guide is to assist those interested in understanding the methodology and resources available in order to effectively conduct African American genealogy research. The guidelines and resources are concentrated on African Americans brought to North America, specifically the United States, by means of the Atlantic Slave Trade.  Within this guide you will find tips for beginners on conducting African American Genealogy research and resources that are available mainly at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture, but also from other parts of the New York Public Library and outside sources as well.

Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy

The Milstein Division, located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, houses a renowned collection of family histories and other genealogical collections, with a particular focus on the New York region. Visit

Milstein Division


Jean Blackwell Hutson Research & Reference Division

The majority of the resources discussed in this guide are available in the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division (JBH) of the Schomburg Center. This division provides access to, published information by and about people of African descent throughout the world, concentrating on the humanities, social sciences, and the arts with a strong focus on New York City and 20th / 21st century publications. This guide will discuss specific collection items related to African American genealogy, but you can also find: books (including self-published and independently published titles), newspapers (specializing in African American historical newspapers), newsletters, pamphlets, periodicals, microfilm, maps, databases (including genealogy databases), and clippings. To learn more about JBH visit the Guide to the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research & Reference Division.

Research & Reference Reading Room


Assistant Chief Librarian, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division

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Rhonda Evans
she / her
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Jean Blackwell Hutson Research & Reference Division

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