Note: This is the 14th installment of WCBS 880’s Black History Month series. For other articles, click here.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Long before black history became an academic discipline, it was cultivated by the New York Public Library.

Now in its 90th year, the library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has grown, but its collecting mission is unchanged, WCBS 880’s Jane Tillman Irving reported.

“Our manuscripts, rare books, moving image and recorded sound, photographs and prints (are) by and about people of African decent,” explained Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center.

Muhammad said the center has always nurtured all the arts.

The Schomburg collection inspired a whole range of expressive modes for African-Americans to demonstrate for themselves and for others their humanity,” he said.

The center is now hosting a comprehensive arts show. On Tuesday, there will be a lecture on the Underground Railroad. And on Feb. 27, classically trained black opera singers will perform their annual concert there.

The Schomburg Center is located at West 135th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem.