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Anchoring the west end of the Sweet Auburn historic district, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History (AARL) opened May 1994 in Atlanta. A special library of the Fulton County Library System (FCLS) formerly the Atlanta Fulton Public Library System (AFPLS), it is the first public library in the Southeast to offer specialized reference and archival collections dedicated to the study and research of African American culture and history and of other peoples of African descent. The library was temporarily closed for two years and re-opened in 2016 after $20 million worth of renovations. The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History promotes specialized library service, archival resources, and culturally/educationally related activities essential for study and use by the general public, students, and scholars of the culture and history of peoples of African descent.