About the Center

The Black Heritage Reference Center of Queens County is located at the Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center.

The Center houses New York City’s largest circulating Black Heritage reading collection, serving Queens County and beyond with a comprehensive reference and circulating collection totaling approximately 40,000 volumes of material about and related to Black culture.

The collection places emphasis on the study of the African American and African diasporic experience, including those geographic areas where African Americans have lived in significant numbers, including West Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Canada, and the United States.


The Center’s collection contains print and non-print materials, including books, periodicals, theses and dissertations, microfilm and microfiche, databases, videos on DVD and VHS, CDs, audiocassettes, audiobooks, photographs, posters, prints, and fine art.

These include:

  • The Langston Hughes Collection, a circulating collection featuring materials written by and about the prolific writer and poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance.
  • The Black Heritage Video Collection, an extensive collection of VHS and DVD videos by and about the Black experience.
  • The Langston Hughes Art Collection, a non-circulating collection of prints, posters, paintings, African textiles, kente cloth, and African sculpture.
  • The Adele Cohen Music Collection, which contains lyrics, librettos, and other original works by Langston Hughes set to music.
  • The Amistad Research Center (ARC) Microfilm Collection, which contains the papers of Countee Cullen, Fannie Lou Hamer, Fredi Washington, and Mary McLeod Bethune.
  • The Black Magazine Microfilm Collection, which contains 17 prominent magazine titles dating back to 1916.
  • The Black Newspaper Microfilm Collection, which contains 29 newspaper titles (over 1,400 reels) dating back to 1831.
  • The Howard University Supplement, which contains the Jesse E. Moorland (card) Catalog of Negro Life and History, v. 1-4.
  • The Records of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, 1895-1992 (Parts 1 and 2).
  • The Schomburg Clipping File, an extensive historical microfiche collection of periodicals, newspaper clippings, typescripts, broadsides, pamphlets, programs, book reviews, menus, and ephemera of all kinds.
  • The Theses and Dissertations Collection, which consists of more than 1,000 volumes of master theses and doctoral dissertations concerning Africans and African Americans in the Diaspora.


Contact the Center

The Black Heritage Reference Center provides information and answers reference questions and requests.

Please contact:

Christine Zarett
Curator, Black Heritage Reference Center
718-651-7116 (phone)


About Langston Hughes Community Library

The Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center was founded in 1969 through community activism by the Library Action Committee of Corona-East Elmhurst (LAC).

The LAC was an ad-hoc committee of the local Community Corporation, one of New York City’s anti-poverty programs. They had the responsibility of identifying needed services in response to initiatives derived from the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements.

The Langston Hughes Community Library and Cultural Center opened in 1969 as an experimental library, a place of reading, learning, and history. It was a source of black information and culture intended to educate and support the area’s predominantly African American population.

The library was the first public institution named for the legendary poet and leader of the Harlem Renaissance, who died in 1967.

Langston Hughes Library was nationally recognized in 2013 as a Literary Landmark, and in 2015 was named one of the winners of the second annual NYC Neighborhood Library Awards.