The Schomburg Center is organized by material format. This means that appointments to view photographs, art work, and audiovisual materials need to be made separately. Click through the tabs below to learn about the types of materials in the Art and Artifacts, Moving Image and Recorded Sound, and Photographs and Prints Divisions.
The Art and Artifacts Division of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture collects, documents, preserves, and interprets art and artifacts by and about peoples of African heritage throughout the world.
The division holds over 1,200 buttons, many of which document the political campaigns of Black politicians, or political or social movements. A sample of the collection is available to view in the NYPL Digital Collections.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division, The New York Public Library. "Free Angela and all political prisoners" New York Public Library Digital Collections.
There are well over 4,000 posters in the collection documenting political, social, and cultural activities and events. A sample of the collection is available to view in the NYPL Digital Collections.
Founded by poet, Amiri Baraka (1934-2014), artists of the Black Arts Movement used activism and art to create new cultural institutions to celebrate Black art and culture. Art from this time period often was a protest against racial stereotypes and white supremacy. The following is a short list of artists in our collection who were creating during the Black Arts Movement .
Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012)- Sculptor and graphic artist
Ademola Olugebefola (1941- )- Print maker, painter, and artist
Assembled by the Art and Artifacts Division of the Schomburg Center, Artists files include Black artists who are represented in the collection, and some who are not. Files include newspaper and magazine clippings, postcards, book marks, and other ephemera that has been collected about the artist. Select artists include the following:
The Art and Artifacts Division, like the other research divisions, is actively collecting materials concerning the documentation of the Black diaphora. Contemporary posters created for local protests are added to the collection when they are available. Some examples include the following:
Additional materials can be located with the help of the reference librarian, and by using the Research Guide, Getting Started: An Introduction to Researching Black Artists. Please contact the division directly to inquire about research topics and access. SchomburgArt@nypl.org
The Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture documents the experiences of peoples of African descent, as they have been captured via audiovisual technology.
The following is a sample of materials in the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division that documents the history of Black Protest.
Additional materials can be identified with the help of the reference librarian. Please contact them directly to inquire about research topics and access. SchomburgAudiovisual@nypl.org
The Photographs and Prints Division of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, contains both documentary and fine art photographs, which document the history and culture of people of African descent worldwide as well as the work of photographers of African descent. The collection of over 300,000 images ranges from mid-eighteenth-century graphics to contemporary documentary and art photography.
The following collections contain photographic documentation of Black Protest.
Additional collection materials can be identified with the help of the reference librarian. Please contact them directly to inquire about research topics and access. SchomburgPhotography@nypl.org
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "Paul Robeson joining members of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP in a picket line in front of Ford's Theater, Baltimore." New York Public Library Digital Collections