Gov. Hochul Commits $8 Million for Upgrades to Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture




Governor Kathy Hochul announces the commitment of $8 million for improvements to The Schomburg. Images courtesy Gov Kathy Hochul

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the commitment of $8 million for improvements to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The funding, which is being administered through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, will enable the refurbishment of the building façade, replacement of windows and roof, and will allow for safety enhancements and energy-saving improvements. DASNY will also provide design services and construction management for the project. This announcement comes during Harlem Week, an annual celebration of Harlem’s wide ranging culture and history.

Announcement at The Schomburg. Images courtesy Gov Kathy Hochul

“With this funding, we’re not just giving this building a face lift; we’re making a critical investment in our history and culture,” Governor Hochul said. “For nearly a century, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture has acted as a library, a research institution, a community hub, and above all, a space to celebrate Black people in America. This Harlem Week, I remain committed as ever to supporting great institutions like the Schomburg Center that honor Black New Yorkers’ rich contributions to our city, our state, and our country.”

“African American history speaks directly to the heart of America’s commitment to democracy and the struggle to perfect our union,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “It’s critical that we preserve the rich history that lives within the walls of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center, one of the world’s leading institutions of black culture and history, so that we may always stay grounded in our collective purpose as a nation – to achieve liberty and justice for all.”

One of the New York Public Library’s renowned research libraries, the Schomburg 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.

Images courtesy Gov Hochul

New York Public Library Chief Operating Officer Iris Weinshall said, “The New York Public Library and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture are deeply grateful for Governor Kathy Hochul’s award of $8 million in capital funding to the Schomburg in this year’s budget. This capital grant is an investment in futureproofing this important institution as it celebrates another century of providing access to the world’s knowledge in Black diasporic history.”

Schomburg Center Director Joy Bivins said, Governor Hochul’s award to the Schomburg Center will support us as we envision our future and continue to be a world-class institution devoted to the preservation and exploration of Black diasporic history. This contribution is vitally important as we continuously strive to provide our patrons and staff with the best environment possible to research, learn, work, and discover.”

Founded in 1925 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the Schomburg Center is a research division of The New York Public Library and features diverse programming and collections spanning over 11 million items that illuminate the richness of global Black history, arts, and culture including books, manuscripts, sheet music, photographs, artworks, video and audio recordings and more. Established with the foundational collection of Puerto Rican-born Black scholar and bibliophile, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the Schomburg Center has collected, preserved, and provides access to materials documenting global Black history. In 2025, the Schomburg Center will celebrate its centennial anniversary.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street in Harlem, NYC.

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Did you know that The Schomburg Center houses the full digital collection of Green Books?