The New York Public Library’s first ever permanent exhibit opens this week on Sept. 24. The exhibit, The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures, features highlights from the extensive archives of the Library’s research centers. Subjects range from great literary achievements, to significant moments in history, to the documentation of everyday life in years gone by, and each inspires a million stories. There are maps, ephemera, manuscripts, and written works from historic men and women, covering areas as diverse as American history, Black diasporic history, literature, religion, civil rights, science and technology, art and architecture, and more, with a significant selection pulled from the collections of the Schomburg’s 11 million objects celebrating Black diasporic history.

Gems of the Harlem Renaissance will be on display, including:

• A children’s Brownie’s book from W.E.B DuBois

• Marian Anderson ephemera

• Manuscripts from Lorraine Vivian Hansberry’s biographical play “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”

• James Baldwin’s own edited draft of his “The Negro Novel” speech––a rare look into his creative and thinking process

• Abstract art from Norman Lewis, one of the first abstract artists to hold an exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art

• The briefcase of Malcolm X as well as rare papers and photos

• Manuscript pages of Maya Angelou’s poem “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”

• “The Negro Motorist Green-Book,” which gave Black travelers tips on safe places to stay and eat in the United States (The Schomburg holds the largest known collection)

• Artifacts from the work and lives of Arturo Schomburg, Malcolm X, Ida B. Wells, Phillis Wheatley, and more…

Among the treasures of visual art are contributions from across the African diaspora, including:

• Charles Henri Joseph Cordier’s ethnographic “Saïd Abdullah” and “Vénus Africaine”

• An original Chuck Stewart photograph of John and Alice Coltrane (one out of 12 prints)

• A stunning West African Vodun vèvè flag depicting a loa in bead and sequin detail

• A rare maquette of Augusta Savage’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Visitors can go to to register for timed tickets. Admission is free.