Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard (135th St and Malcolm X Blvd)
New York, NY 10037
Fully Accessible
Closed today
Division is by appointment only.
Regular Hours
Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division
Day Hours
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 11 AM–5 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–5 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–5 PM
Friday: 11 AM–5 PM
Saturday: CLOSED
Sunday: CLOSED

About the Division

Arturo Schomburg, the Schomburg Center's founder, and Catherine Latimer, NYPL's first Black librarian, with researchers amid the Schomburg Center's collections

The Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division (MIRS, pronounced “meers”) collects and preserves audio and moving image (AMI) materials related to the experiences of people of African descent. The division has amassed nearly 400 collections, approximately 5,000 square feet, in a variety of formats, which captures the gestures and sounds of major historical, artistic and cultural moments and influencers. While the strength is the Black American holdings there is considerable Caribbean and African representation in the collection.

Image caption: Arturo Schomburg, the founding collector and curator, and Catherine Latimer, the first Black librarian hired by The New York Public Library, in the original collection reading room with researchers, surrounded by the collection’s books, photos and art, c. 1930s.

Visiting the Collection

Can researchers walk in to access the collection?
At this time, we are not offering walk-in access to our collections, but researchers can request an onsite appointment. A staff member will review your request and contact you to confirm your appointment. An appointment request is not booked until it is confirmed by a staff member. If additional information is needed about your request, a staff member will arrange a virtual consultation. 

Are research appointments required to access the collection onsite?
Yes, confirmed research appointments are necessary to access the collection onsite. However, patrons are welcome to enter the Schomburg Center without an appointment to use our general facilities, including lobby seating, permanent exhibition items, restrooms, water fountains, and the Schomburg Shop. In addition, our exhibitions will be open to all on Fridays and Saturdays.

Are virtual consultations available and are they required before making an onsite research appointment?
Virtual consultations are not required, but are available for navigating our holdings and general questions about our collections. Please email if you are interested in booking a virtual consultation.

What else do researchers need to know about accessing the collection?
The audio and moving image (AMI) holdings are for research only, and only available onsite in the division. Copies, whether for reference or high resolution, are not allowed under copyright law without permission from the copyright holder, and clearance from The New York Public Library’s legal department.

Who can researchers contact with further questions?
Please email us at with any additional queries.


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