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Guide to the Schomburg Center's Photographs and Prints Division: Planning Your Visit

Book an In-Person Research Appointment

To request an in-person research appointment, please create a Special Collections Account, then follow these steps:

  • Click on "Schedule and Request"
  • Select "Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture"
  • Search for materials in the Research Catalog.
    • Under "Refine Search" or "Advanced Search," select Still image to find materials held in our Division.
    • When the search results display, materials in our Division will list "Schomburg Center - Photographs and Prints" under Item Location 
    • Some materials will display a link to Request Appointment. Click this link to request an in-person visit.
    • If you do not see Request Appointment, look for a link to a Finding aid. This will take you to the Archives Portal, for certain large collections in our Division. You can make a request from the Archives Portal for those collections.
    • Email or call 212-491-2057 if you have any questions.
  • You may cancel an appointment under "scheduled appointments."

Please note: To book an appointment through the Special Collections account, we currently require that patrons choose specific collections from the Catalog or the Archives Portal. If you need help finding specific collections to request, or would like to visit without selecting collections beforehand, please email or call 212-491-2057. 

Contact us!

Send us an email with any questions about policies, materials, hours, or research questions.


Visiting the Photographs and Prints Division: Helpful Tips

Here are some things you should know before visiting the Photographs and Prints Division at the Schomburg Center. For additional information, check out NYPL's Plan Your Research Visit page.

  1. Be sure to check our hours and holiday closings prior to your visit.
  2. In order to view materials in our reading room, you need to have a New York Public Library Card. Follow this link for information how to register online for a library card. The Photographs and Prints Division can also sign you up for a library card upon your arrival.
  3. Requests for the following types of material must be made with advance notice of 7 business days: 
    1. Collections identified as "Offsite" in our Online Catalog
    2. All nineteenth century materials in the P&P Division
  4. Researchers will be asked to check large bags and coats at the complimentary coat check on the Schomburg's ground floor.
  5. Researchers are permitted to bring pencils (we provide notepaper), laptops or tablets, cell phones, and cameras into the reading room. All other belongings must be checked at the ground floor coat check, or locked in one of the small lockers in our reading room.
  6. Photography, with a handheld camera or cell phone, is permitted for research and reference purposes only, and the majority of our collections are subject to copyright. Review the NYPL Photography Policy for more information on onsite reference photographs of collections materials.