Saturday, January 7, 2012

Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, 1874-1938: Noted Bibliophile, Collector, Curator,and Scholar

Arthur Alfonso Schomburg (also known as Arturo Alfonso Schomburg), a native of Puerto Rico, was a noted bibliophile and scholar of African and African American history. Mr. Schomburg devoted his life, time, and energy in acquiring and archiving materials relating to the history and culture of people of African descent. In 1926, Mr. Schomburg sold his collection to the New York Public Library. Mr. Schomburg served as curator of the collection, which the New York Public Library housed at its 135th Street Branch. Schomburg also worked at Fisk University where he was instrumental in building the library's Negro history collection. Mr. Schomburg was a member of the Prince Hall Mason Lodge and the Negro Society for Historical Research. In addition, he was the president of the American Negro Academy, a co-founder of the Negro Book Collectors Exchange, and chairman of the Negro Library Association's research committee. Mr. Schomburg passed away in 1938. Schomburg's collection is still housed at the 135th Street Branch, which is now known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

See related posts: John Edward Bruce: Ex-Slave, Bibliophile, Historian, and Journalist ; Henry Proctor Slaughter: Compositor for the U.S. Government Printing Office, Bibliophile, Collector, and Newspaer Editor ; The Mayme A. Clayton Library Museum and Cultural Center (MCL) ; and The E. Azalia Hackley Collection of Negro Music, Dance, and Drama (Detroit Public Library).

Sources: Sinnette, Elinor D.V. Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, Black Bibliophile & Collector: A Biography. New York: New York Public Library, 1989. Print. ; Black Bibliophiles and Collectors: Preservers of Black History. Ed. Elinor D.V. Sinnette, W. Paul Coates, and Thomas C. Battle. Washington, D.C.: Howard UP, 1990, 10, 28-29, 33-45, 48, 62, 109, 210. Print. ; Cooper, Glendora Johnson. "African American Historical Continuity: Jean Blackwell Hutson and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture." Reclaiming the American Library Past: Writing the Women In. Ed. Suzanne Hildenbrand. Norwood: Ablex, 1996. 27-51. Print. ; "Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture." New York Public Library. New York Public Library, 2011. Web. 24 Jan. 2011. ; "Schomburg Center Celebrates 75th Anniversary." Ebony 56.1 (2000): 144-146, 148, 150. Print. ;  "Schomburg Center: Harlem's Gold Mine of Black Research Material." Ebony 37.11 (1982): 62-63, 66. Print. ; "Black History Prophets and Custodians: Handful of Men and Women Created Foundations of Saga of Persistence and Creativity." Ebony 50.4 (1995): 90. Print. ; "Schomburg's Ailing Collection." Ebony 22.12 (1967): 60. Print. ; Dodson, Howard. "The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library." Library Quarterly 58.1 (1988): 74-82. Print. Handbook of Black Librarianship. Ed. E.J. Josey and Marva L. DeLoach. 2nd ed. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2000. 5-6, 20-21, 40, 236, 243, 245, 260. Print. ; Lee, Felicia R. "Harlem Center's Director to Retire in Early 2011." New York Times 19 Apr. 2010: C1. Web. 28 Jan. 2011. ; "IU Historian Named Director of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture." Indiana University News Room 19 Nov. 2010: n.pag. Web. 28 Jan. 2011. ; Copage, Eric V. "The Race to Save Black History: As Art Collections Deteriorate, Preservationists Struggle to Save Our Culture." Ebony 58.4 (2008): 122. Print. ; Des Jardins, Julie. "Black Librarians and the Search for Women's Biography during the New Negro History Movement." OAH Magazine of History 20.1 (2006): 15-17. Print. ; Patton, Stacey. "Guarding the Schomburg's Rich Fabled Legacy: Khalil Muhammad Becomes the First Scholar to Run the Schomburg Center." Crisis 118.1 (2011): 30-31. Print. ; Diouf, Sylviane Anna. "Schomburg, Arturo Alfonso (1874-1938)." BlackPast.org. BlackPast.org, n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. ; Jefferson, Julius C. “The Black Male Librarian: An Endangered Species.” The National Diversity in Libraries Conference. Louisville Marriott Downtown, Louisville, KY. 3 Oct. 2008. Pdf.

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