Update #1: Research at the Schomburg

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be conducting research at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture beginning on June 27th. I’ve spent the last few weeks of research scouring the research database in preparation  for my visit. The Schomburg works in conjunction with numerous other New York Public Libraries, so I’ve compiled a list of resources from other branches which will be delivered to the Schomburg upon arrival. I’ve amassed a healthy list of titles ranging from a textbook on the #BlackLivesMatter movement itself, the significance of music in social protest, and handbooks on the methodology of content analysis. While researching at the Schomburg Center, I will also have access to special collections resources in the Resources and Reference Division as well as the Moving Images and Recorded Sound Division.

Unfortunately, there are some limitations on conducting research prior to visiting the Schomburg itself. Out of state applicants for library cards are issued a temporary barcode, but are unable to receive library cards until presenting physical proof of ID at the library. Without a permanent issue barcode, access to numerous online databases is restricted. Some online databases are online available for use at the Schomburg itself. Permanent issue barcodes are also needed to request materials from offsite storage and research online venues. Regardless, I feel that I’ve compiled a healthy list of materials.

I’ve also been closely monitoring developments in the Williamsburg #BlackLivesMatter chapter. While there have been no large volunteer opportunities,  there have been updates to the chapter’s online blogging account which describe local instances of injustice. In addition, there have been national developments in the #BlackLivesMatter movement regarding the trial of the officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. Such instances provide context for my research, and the ability to observe the use of music in #BLM related activism.

I will be posting more updates as my time at the Schomburg begins. Regardless of some speed bumps in the process, I’m very excited to conduct my research.