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Guide to the Schomburg Center's Photographs and Prints Division: Home


Welcome to the Photographs & Prints Division, one of five divisions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Division's collections document the history and culture of people of African descent worldwide, as well as the work of photographers of African descent.  With over 500,000 images, P&P's collections range from mid-eighteenth-century graphics to contemporary documentary and art photography. The majority of materials in the Division are photographs, and all the major photographic processes are represented. The Division's print collections, which form less than ten percent of our collections, include engravings and lithographs produced before 1900. 

Photographs and Prints Division

Collection Highlights

The Photographs and Prints Division has materials that can support a wide range of research topics. Our collections include:

  • Nineteenth century photograph albums documenting the history and culture of people of African descent in the Caribbean and South America
  • Nineteenth and early twentieth century images of African American individuals and families, produced by means of early photographic processes and formats including tintypes, cartes-de-visite, cabinet cards and stereographs
  • Photograph collections originally part of the personal archives of individuals such as James Baldwin and Malcolm X, and figures associated with the Harlem Renaissance including Augusta Savage and Gwendolyn Bennett
  • Extensive photographic documentation of everyday life as well as sociocultural and political events in Harlem throughout the 20th century, and civil rights activities throughout the United States, particularly the American South
  • Documentation of Black LGBTQ+ history, including gay rights activism and personal photo collections of artists, writers, and activists who identified as gay or lesbian, including Stormé DeLarverié, Joseph Beam, and Essex Hemphill
  • Pre-twentieth-century print collections, including engravings and lithographs primarily by white European artists, depicting African and Caribbean individuals and events
  • Documentary and fine art photography by figures such as James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks, Carrie Mae Weems, and Dawoud Bey

Reference Librarians

Profile Photo
Schomburg Photographs and Prints Division Reference Librarians
515 Malcolm X Boulevard (135th St and Malcolm X Blvd)
Third Floor
New York, NY 10037
(212) 491-2057

Visit us!

Photographs and Prints Division Hours

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 11am - 5pm

Wednesday: 11am - 5pm

Thursday: 11am - 5pm

Friday: 11am - 5pm

Saturday: 11am - 5pm

Sunday: Closed