Here are a few tips to keep in mind when starting a new research project:
The New York Public Library Research Catalog allows you to do basic and advanced searches.
Advanced Searching tips:
Create a list of terms to use, and try different combinations of 2-3 terms to broaden and narrow your search results.
Use Boolean terms such as: AND, OR, NOT when searching to produce results using multiple terms.
Use Quotation marks (" ") for exact phrases and names.
Try local spellings of names for people, places or events.
To visit the Archives and Manuscripts Portal, visit Archives.nypl.org
By searching for the title of the collection here, you will learn:
Where within NYPL the collection is housed
Number of boxes or containers in the collection
Links to the NYPL digital collections
Subject headings to find additional collections and items
Access to the finding aid, if it has been published online.
Click on the tab that reads “Detailed Description” to locate the container list of the finding aid. If that tab is unavailable, email us at SchomburgArchives@nypl.org to ask for the complete finding aid.
Use the “modify search” feature to narrow the location of collections. You can narrow to the Schomburg Center, or to specific divisions.
The New York Public Library Digital Collections contains 896,001 items and counting. While that is a small fraction of the Library's overall holdings, it is representative of the diversity of our vast collections—from books to videos, maps to manuscripts, illustrations to photos, and more.
Start with a search or begin browsing by item, collection, or division. For a more extensive user guide and primer, see "NYPL Digital Collections Platform: An Introduction."
You can browse just the items that have no known U.S. copyright restrictions. When searching, select the "Search only public domain items" option to filter your results to items with no known U.S. copyright restrictions. On the Browse page, you can easily turn this filter on and off with the “Show Only Public Domain” button in the upper left corner of the page.
The #SchomburgSyllabus archives Black-authored and Black-related online educational resources to document Black studies, movements, and experiences in the 21st century. In connecting these web-archived resources to the Schomburg Center’s own unique materials, the project honors and recognizes the source and strength of Black self-education practices, collective study, and librarianship. The #SchomburgSyllabus is curated by Schomburg Center staff and organized into 27 themes to foster a greater understanding of the Black experience.
Some of the Schomburg Archival Collections have been transferred to microfilm to aid in the preservation of these materials. Most of the microfilm collections are available to view in the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division.
Contact them directly with research questions at Schomburgreference@nypl.org.
Once you are onsite there are digital microfilm machines that will allow you to scan the document page by page and either save the scans to a flash drive or you can email yourself the scanned attachments.
View the Schomburg Archival Collections on Microfilm Research Guide for a list of the collections available in this format.
Search the following keywords in the NYPL Catalog, Digital Collections, and Archives Portal to locate relevant material discussing the Harlem Renaissance:
Harlem Renaissance --Influence
Harlem Renaissance -- Periodicals
Harlem Renaissance -- Pictorial Works
Harlem Renaissance -- Poetry
Harlem Renaissance --Social aspects
Harlem Renaissance --Sources
Harlem Renaissance --Study and teaching
New York (N.Y.) --Intellectual life -- 20th century
Searching the names of artists, musicians, authors, performers, and other figures of the Harlem Renaissance can also produce relevant materials.
Click here to book a free research consultation with a Librarian. Or email us at SchomburgArchives@nypl.org.