Arthur A. Schomburg was a Puerto Rican historian, writer, activist and collector of research, whose collection of literature later became the foundation of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a unit of the New York Public Library. He was an enthusiastic collector of art, slave narratives and other literature connected with the life of African-Americans in the United States.
Born on Jan. 24, 1871, Schomburg came to America in 1891 and 10 years later moved to New York City, working at a law firm as a researcher. In 1911, he co-founded the Negro Society for Historical Research to create an institute for scholarship.
He was deeply involved in the Harlem Renaissance and served as the co-editor of the 1912 editor of the Encyclopedia of the Colored Race.
The New York City Public Library purchased his large collection of historical materials in 1926 and appointed him as the curator of the Schomburg Collection of Negro Literature. He died in 1938 in Brooklyn.