July 14: The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Opened in Harlem on This Day in 1905

0 Posted by - July 14, 2020 - Black History

By Natelegé Whaley

Photo credits: Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture opened in Harlem, New York, on July 14, 1905. The center is one of the leading institutions focused on the experiences of people across the African diaspora. 

Before the center was named after Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, a leading Afro-Puerto Rican activist, and writer in the Harlem Renaissance, it was called the Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints.

In 1926, Schomburg donated his collection of “more than 5,000 books; 3,000 manuscripts; 2,000 etchings and paintings; and several thousand pamphlets,” according to the Schomburg site.

He served as curator from 1932 until his death in 1938. 

Since its opening more than 100 years ago, the Schomburg has expanded to create space for galleries and the Langston Hughes Auditorium, where events, lectures, and concerts are held. The Schomburg presently has more than 10,000,000 items. 

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