The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a branch of the New York Public Library located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is a branch of the New York Public Library located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem. Inside the library’s doors, visitors will find more than just books to read. The center is a world-leading cultural institution devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. In 2017, Marble Fairbanks completed a renovation of the building that enhanced the Schomburg Center's interface with the surrounding community.
The center has specialized research rooms
The Schomburg Center has multiple research divisions that collect, document, preserve, and interpret African Diaspora culture. These divisions include Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books; Art and Artifacts; Moving Image and Recorded Sound; and additional curated collections that are available for individual research. Marble Fairbanks provided each division its own research room for visitors to peruse the unique holdings and dive into their research.
The exterior offers glimpses of what's inside
Not only can visitors discover the collections inside, but passersby can see selections from the Schomburg Center's collections on LED displays on the façade. The renovation transformed the façade to one of transparency and openness, emphasizing the Schomburg Center’s connection to its community. As a result, the interior has be transmuted into an inviting space that's more than a public library, but an exhibition space and research center. The surrounding brick solidifies the library as a cultural institution for the Harlem community and New York City.
It's a National Historic Landmark
Originally designed as a Carnegie library by McKim, Mead and White in 1905, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2017.
Head to the Schomburg Center’s page on the Archtober Guide to discover more about the library’s history and how Marble Fairbanks’s renovation accentuated its historic elements while fostering a new connection to the world outside its walls.