The Man Who Built A Library

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Traces legal clerk Arturo Schomburg's efforts to curate a collection of African books, letters, music, and art.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2017.
Edition: First edition., Reinforced trade edition.
ISBN: 9780763680466
Branch Call Number: X921 SCHOMBURG, ARTHUR
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
FPL_StephanieP Dec 21, 2020

This picture book, which is geared towards 4th-7th graders, tells the story of Arturo Schomburg, whose life's work was to find and collect books, art, and artifacts that revealed previously uncelebrated achievements of people of African heritage. Schomburg's work led to the establishment of New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Brilliantly designed and written, this book is both a biography of Schomburg's life and a survey of some of the Black history Schomburg's work revealed.

Jul 22, 2020

Read for 2nd grade

Apr 04, 2020

The American Negro must remake his post in order to make his future…History must restore what slavery took away.
-Arturo Schomburg

Arturo Schomburg was an Afro-Puerto Rican born in 1874. As a child he loved the written word. He read books about inventors, astronomers and draftsmen. In 1891 at the age of seventeen he landed in New York. He learned English and taught Spanish. He found work as a messenger and clerk at a law firm. It was then that a spark ignited in him and drove him to want to know about Africana. He learned about Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglas and his boyhood hero Toussaint Louverture. Not only did he collect books, letters and art he also learned that slaves did rise up to fight for freedom. Arturo learned that African roots spread through may supposed white family trees such as John James Audubon, Alexandre Dumas, Alexander Pushkin and even Ludwig van Beethoven.

Overtime, Arturo’s need to collect information grew to the point his home had been overflowing with book collections. This resulted in his collections becoming a part of the New York Public library, better known as the Division of Negro History, Literature and Prints. Soon art, etchings, paintings and sculpture collections grew as well.

Parents and teachers will find that sharing this book and all of its glory with children. It will enlighten and encourage them to learn more about their heritage. The imagery found on these pages is vibrant art and depicts Arturo throughout his life’s work as he moved through the history he cultivated.

Mar 04, 2019

A unique contribution to history, I was fully delighted to learn about this very special collector and his contribution to libraries. I am so glad he chose to look high and low, over land and sea, for the other side of the story. What began with a single person grew into one of the most important library collections, preserved for many generations to come.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top