4th March, 2013
Gayatri Singh (References Services Coordinator & Librarian for Communication at the Social Sciences & Humanities Library, UC San Diego) brought Regina Andrews to our attention and shared this information from a talk at her library by Ethelene Whitmire (UW-Madison):
Regina Andrews (1901-1993) was the first African American Supervising Librarian in the New York Public Library system. In addition to being a librarian, she was a playwright and key member of the Harlem Renaissance. She began her career in 1923 at the 135th Street branch (now known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture) and ended it with her retirement from the Washington Heights branch in 1967. In From the Modernist Annex: American Women Writers in Museums and Libraries, Karin Roffman states, “Much has been made of the importance of the 135th Street Library in the 1920s to writers and artists in the Harlem Renaissance.” She continues, “This library was a transformed and transforming space. It was a library, but it was also a museum, an experimental theatre, a lecture hall, a community meeting hall, and a work space for writers.”
You can learn more about Regina Andrews at Professor Whitmire’s blog, Harlem Renaissance Librarian.