After completing your preliminary research and making an appointment, you will be ready to view collections at the Schomburg Center. There are a few things you can do to arrive ready to conduct your research and maintain stamina during your visit.
If you need assistance with using materials such as access to a CCTV, requesting a reader, or would like help using assistive apps, please contact us in advance of your visit.
If you have difficulty reading handwriting, or small text, or would like materials to be read to you, consider the free app SeeingAI as a possible solution. Don't forget your headphones!
For more information about the artwork at the Schomburg Center, please contact the Art and Artifacts Division.
You are only allowed the following items in the reading room:
All other items must be checked at Coat Check.
Please view our General Regulations prior to your visit.
Email a librarian with any questions about your visit.
Researchers may be asked to use some of the following materials during their research visit. These tools are generally available to help protect archival materials. If you have questions about their use or think you may need something, please ask for assistance.
Out Card- Large red and yellow laminated dividers used to keep track of where folders of materials should be returned when they are removed from archival boxes.
Mylar Sleeves- Clear plastic sleeve that help to protect documents. These are often used with newspapers and other paper-based items to protect them from crumbling. Please ask for assistance before removing documents from the protective sleeve.
Book Cradles- Foam triangles used to protect the spines of rare books, scrapbooks, and bound material. Two pieces (or more) can be used to keep the spine of a book from cracking open and to protect pages from tearing.
String and Pillow Weights- Cord "shoestring" like weights or cotton pouches filled with small beans can be used to keep documents flat, or book pages open. Weights are often used to aid in taking pictures of an item. These protect books and documents from sustaining tears. Instead of pressing on an open book spine, bending or creasing pages, ask for weights to help gently keep items open or flat for viewing.
Cotton Gloves- While it is best to handle materials with clean, dry hands, gloves can be used to protect documents from oil and moisture on the skin. Please take care if asked to use gloves, as they limit the dexterity in our hands, and sometimes cause damage to brittle paper documents.