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Guide to the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research & Reference Division: What's Available in JBH

Welcome! This guide will provide an overview of the Research & Reference Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Overview of the JBH Collections

The Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division provides access to books, journal, newspapers, microforms and more containing information by and about people of African descent throughout the world, concentrating on the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts. Geographically, the collection emphasizes the Americas, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan African. Its holdings of over 300,000 bound volumes, 25,000 microfilms and microfiches, 750 maps, and 570 newspaper titles date from the late 19th century to the present and are growing continuously. English is the predominant language of the division's holdings, supplemented by works in French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, and other European languages, and 200 African languages and dialects.

Collection Highlights

  • Extensive historical and current collection of African American, Caribbean, and African newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, travel guides and other serials including complete runs and rare titles
  • African American history and scholarship is comprehensive
  • Literature (fiction, poetry, and drama) of Black writers from around the world in numerous languages
  • Substantial texts on Harlem and Blacks in the performing and visual arts
  • Histories of Ancient African Kingdoms
  • West Indian history and culture
  • Haitian literature and history including the Kurt Fisher Haitian collection
  • African American freemasons including the Harry A. Williamson collection
  • African American Greek letter societies (Black fraternities and sororities)
  • Notable collection of Doctoral dissertations
  • Notable holdings in over 60 African languages
  • Historical clipping collection in over 9,000 subject headings

NYPL Digital Collections

Many collection items from the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division have been digitized and are now available by accessing the NYPL Digital Collections, for example the 1950s African American guidebook, Travelguide. Take a look at other available items by visiting our Digital Collections Page

"Pallas." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1913. Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division.