Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard (135th St and Malcolm X Blvd)
New York, NY 10037
Fully Accessible
Open today
11 AM–5 PM
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: 12 PM–5 PM
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?

Yes, if an appointment time is available. To request an advance appointment, create a Special Collections Account, click on "My Appointments → Make an Appointment," and follow the prompts. An appointment request is not booked until it is confirmed by a staff member.

Are research appointments required to access the collection onsite?

Appointments are preferred to ensure that library staff have adequate time to retrieve collection materials and set up a work station for researchers to begin their research. Patrons are also welcome to visit our division without an appointment and/or make same day appointments. 

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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