Search Our Catalog

The FRANK Library Catalog is the most comprehensive tool to search for resources and collections, including those not available online, within the Museum’s Research Library.

You can also explore an array of digital collections and projects from the Research Library below.

175 Years: Celebrating the Incorporation of the City of Buffalo, 1832-2007

Selected documents and images from our collections, designed to transport you back to Buffalo in the 1830s.

1828 Buffalo City Directory

The 1828 Buffalo directory was the first city directory published in what was then the village of Buffalo. In 1876, the Courier Company published a directory for Buffalo and included a reprint of the 1828 directory in the back. We are grateful to the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library for digitizing the 1876 directory and granting us permission to download the 1828 page scans and reassemble that first directory for you. It is online here in full text.

Adventures in Western New York History

Short, readable booklets on 25 important topics in Buffalo history, including the Buffalo grain elevators, the Pan-American Exposition, and Erie County in the Civil War. All online in full text.

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Architectural History Sources in Our Library

Researching your house is popular in Buffalo. But if no one before you studied and wrote up your house's history, then how do you figure it out? This grid shows you what we consult to answer the five most common questions people have about their houses or any other building in Buffalo: When it was built, who built it, who designed it, who lived in it, and what it looked like.

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Architectural Records: A Bibliography

Many architects have practiced in Buffalo, NY, without their business records being saved. This list features promotional brochures, architectural plans, drawings, records, and selected photographs associated with Buffalo-area architects. These items are all in the library collection. This list is at WorldCat.

Atlases for Buffalo & Erie County

Listed here are atlases that show individual buildings or land owner names in Buffalo and Erie County, with links for those which have been digitized. These atlases are key for house & building research. Sanborn map of Lafayette Square courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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Bethune, Louise (1856-1913)

Bethune was the first professional woman architect in the United States. She is best known today for her Buffalo masterpiece, the Lafayette Hotel. This is a list of items in our library collection.

Bethune’s Daughters: Women Architects in Buffalo, NY

This slide show features current women architects in or from Buffalo, NY. We produced it in 2011 as part of an exhibit on Louise Bethune, America's first professional woman architect.

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Birge, M.H. Company Records

M.H. Birge & Sons was known for the quality of its wallpaper and for the artistry that characterized it. Local landscape artists were hired to paint and develop the original prints. The best known of these, Charles E. Burchfield, designed landscapes in the mid-1920s that depicted the wildlife and scenic beauty of Western New York. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

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Black History in the Buffalo Area: A Bibliography

Listed here are books, manuscripts, theses, and dissertations about African-American history in the library: biographies and autobiographies, organizations, activism, professions. This list is at WorldCat.

Black Rock & Riverside: A Bibliography

Once a town in Erie County, Black Rock was annexed by the City of Buffalo in 1854. Today it is a neighborhood in the northwest part of Buffalo, proudly retaining its identity 150 years later. All items listed here are in our library. This list is at WorldCat.

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Breweries, Temperance & Prohibition: A Bibliography

It didn't make sense to separate out each topic when they're all related. This list includes works about alcoholic beverages of all kinds, malt houses, taverns, saloons, and liquor stores. All of the items listed here are in the library collection. This list is at WorldCat.

Buffalo Address Books & Family Directories

Published from 1883-1915, these directories list middle & upper income households, with a reverse address section that lists streets in A-Z order, mostly on the West side, with the residents of each house.  These directories might help you determine when your house was built.

Buffalo Architecture Index

Drawn from primary and secondary sources in our collection, this Google spreadsheet shows the architect and date for 2,000 addresses in the Buffalo area.

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Buffalo Area Directories: A Bibliography

Telephone directories, city directories, suburban directories, social directories, business directories, alumni directories, church directories, employee & professional directories, nonprofit & cultural organization directories, membership rosters, we like 'em all. All of the items on this list can be found in hard copy in our Research Library. This list is at WorldCat.

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Buffalo Bibliographies & Indexes

There is nothing like a good bibliography to open your eyes to books and articles that you never knew existed on your research topic. The bibliographies listed here all have something to do with Buffalonians or the Buffalo/Niagara area. We also added indexes and inventories to major local manuscript collections. This list is at WorldCat.

Buffalo Churches in 1901: A Google Map

In 1901, the Charity Organization Society of Buffalo published a map showed the location of every church in Buffalo, NY. Intern Peter Malia replicated that map here. Churches are color-coded by denomination. We added some pictures and links to surviving church records.

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Buffalo Corrugated Container / Fibre Factory Company Records

Buffalo Corrugated Container was founded in 1910 by William A. and Harley N. Sickler, and Charles G. Moore, as a manufacturer and seller of corrugated paper and paper board containers and packing boxes. The company was located at 25-39 Imson Street, Buffalo, N.Y. We have their tax and insurance records, 1912-1947. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative

Buffalo Drinking Map, 1828 to the Present: A Google Map

A thorough map of everyone we could find who was and is involved in the production of alcoholic beverages in Buffalo and Erie County. We color-coded the locations of 90 breweries, 60 malt houses, 60 distilleries, 7 wineries, and 15 cider houses, with logos for currently operating businesses.

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Buffalo Federation of Women’s Clubs Records

An alliance of women's clubs founded in 1905 as the Buffalo City Federation of Women's Clubs; name changed in 1939. Originally comprising 28 member clubs involved in civic activities "to further citizenship, education and philanthropy," the B.F.W.C. comprised some 71 member clubs by 1985. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

Buffalo Filmography

A detailed and thorough spreadsheet of feature films, documentaries, and television productions either filmed or set in the Buffalo area. We are still adding to it. Illustration courtesy of Pixhere.com.

Buffalo Historical Society Publications

From 1897 to 1947, we published 34 lengthy volumes of regional history scholarship. Google & others digitized most of them. We collected the links here in chronological order so you can read them online. This series includes the ever popular Picture Book of Earlier Buffalo (1912) and a wealth of essays on the Holland Land Company, the War of 1812, Native Americans, Millard Fillmore, the Erie Canal, and much more.

Buffalo Historical Society, 1930

An illustrated pamphlet with scenes of museum interiors & exhibits. It was published in 1930 to commemorate the expansion of our original 1901 building. Architect George Cary (1859-1945) designed the building and the additions. Library call number F116 .B83 B84 1930.

Buffalo History Museum Blog

Essays by staff experts about collections, artifacts, research techniques, museum activities, and historical events. Newly redesigned, with fresh content on the way! Clip art courtesy of PublicDomainVectors.org.

Buffalo in the War of 1812

Selections from our vast War of 1812 holdings, including original and published letters, journals, artist's conceptions, diaries, scrapbooks, reminiscences, news clippings, and other ephemera.

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Buffalo in World War I: A Bibliography

Listed here are books and manuscripts in our library about how the Buffalo, NY area experienced and participated in the first World War. This list is at WorldCat.

Buffalo Jazz Clubs, 1945-1970: A Google Map

Includes the addresses, years of operation, and some of the owners during the years when these clubs were in business. Researched and developed by Kanisha Greaves, student intern in the Research Library, Fall 2012.

Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Maps, 1935

Digitized by Library volunteer Brenda Myc, MLS, these maps were selected from an atlas which documented slum conditions in Buffalo during the Great Depression. Individual maps show the distribution of ethnic and immigrant groups; the density of population; the incidence of crime, juvenile delinquency, and venereal disease; and other social conditions. Maps also show Buffalo ward boundaries and councilmanic districts. Several are hand-colored.

Buffalo Newspaper Search Engine

One custom Google search engine drills into these free and fee sites:

  • Buffalo News, 1996-present, via Highbeam.com [$]
  • Chronicling America: newspapers digitized by the Library of Congress
  • FultonHistory.com
  • New York Times, 1851-1980
  • NYSHistoricNewspapers.org
Image courtesy of needpix.com.

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Buffalo Newspapers on Microfilm

A Google Doc listing all of the newspapers we have on microfilm, starting in 1811 and ending around 2012.

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Buffalo on Stage & Screen

Movies, TV shows, scripts, plays, musicals, all chosen because the story was set in the Buffalo area or the production was filmed in the Buffalo area. Includes documentary films as well as feature films, plus works on Buffalo theater buildings. All of these items are in the Library collection of The Buffalo History Museum. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Buffalo Postcard Collection

From our 7,000 or so postcards, we selected and scanned some rare cards that we haven't already seen online, with historical notes on each one. This project is online at NYHeritage.org.

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Buffalo Protest Collection

Collection of materials related to civil rights activism in the Buffalo area in the late 1960s and early '70s. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

Buffalo Town Meeting Proceedings, 1814-1837

Here are 409 pages of the Buffalo Town Meeting proceedings, also called the Town Book, scanned from the microfilm version in our library. Town meetings were held annually and covered topics such as elections, roads and highways, finances and schools. Between town meetings, other reports given to the Town Clerk were recorded. This includes slave affidavits given by Isaac F. Bowman (p. 3), and Peter B. and Letitia P. Porter (p. 93); stray animal notices; and earmark records regarding animal ownership. The PDF is not full text searchable as the original is handwritten.

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Buffalo True Crime: A Bibliography

From the early 19th century to the present, here are nonfiction accounts of crimes, scandals, law enforcement, prisons, jails, hearings, court cases, and trials, both civil and criminal, in the Buffalo/Niagara area. All of the items listed below are in the Library collection. This list is at WorldCat.

Buffalo’s Bethune: America’s First Woman Architect

Panel designs from an exhibit held from 2011-2012 on Louise Bethune, the first professional woman architect in America. Some objects on the panels were not available for online use. Many thanks to Brian McAlonie and Kelly Hayes McAlonie for co-curating this exhibit.

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Business Records: A Bibliography

Listed here are manuscripts and primary sources, mainly internal records of companies and firms, in the library collection. Unfortunately, most businesses come and go without their records being saved. Employee or personnel records are rarely if ever retained. This list is at WorldCat.

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Cary, George (1859-1945): Photographs & Drawings

George Cary is best remembered today as the architect who designed the New York State building at the Pan-American Exposition, the home of The Buffalo History Museum ever since 1902, and the Administration building of the Pierce-Arrow factory. This is a list of his photos, plans, and drawings in our collection. The plans & drawings are stored off-site and may be seen by appointment. Cary portrait courtesy of Wikipedia.

Cemeteries in Erie County: A Google Map

A Google map showing locations, or approximate locations, of cemeteries and burial grounds, past and present, in Buffalo and Erie County, NY. Includes name changes and links to records, if known.  Always remember to verify rights of access and cemetery rules before visiting any burial location. In New York State, access to cemeteries on private land requires the permission of the property owner.

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Cemetery Records on Microfilm

A list of the cemetery records in our collection, in A-Z order by name of cemetery. We added links to those we have found online. Image courtesy of Piqsels.com.

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Census Indexes

We have all surviving federal and state censuses for Buffalo and Erie County and they are on microfilm. This is a list of print indexes to those censuses. This list is at WorldCat.

Cholera Deaths, 1832, 1849, 1854

A compilation of fatalities in Buffalo's three cholera epidemics, compiled by Dr. Glenice Guthrie in 2007 and shared here with her permission. Names are listed in approximate chronological order.

Cholera Deaths, 1854

Buffalo suffered several outbreaks of cholera. In 1854, Dr. James Newman kept a ledger of the deaths that occurred in Buffalo, which is now in our collection. Here is an index of about 1,000 names in that ledger, compiled and shared by Dr. Roseanne Higgins. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

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Church Records on Microfilm

Church records are often the only surviving proof of births, marriages, and deaths from before the advent of government-issued vital records. We have a large collection of Buffalo-area church records on microfilm and in print. Some are being digitized, nearly all by FamilySearch.org. We add links when we find them. Image from Picture Book of Earlier Buffalo, p. 106.

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Civil War Collection, 1830-1929

Muster rolls, histories, diaries, and other official and personal papers concerning various New York regiments and naval operations, including the 3rd, 20th, 21st, 49th, 94th, 100th, 116th and 179th Infantry; 11th and 12th Cavalry; 1st Light Artillery (Wiedrich's Battery), 12th Light Artillery, 27th Light Artillery (Eaton's Battery), and 16th Heavy Artillery, as well as some non-New York military units. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

Cleveland, Grover: A Bibliography

The items listed here are all in our collection. This list is at WorldCat.

Cleveland, Grover: A Google Map of Sites in Buffalo

According to his biographers, period newspaper accounts, and Buffalo city directories, here are places where Grover Cleveland worked (blue pins), lived (red pins) or dined, visited, spent leisure time, gave speeches, etc. (yellow pins). Extant buildings & sites are marked with stars.

Cleveland, Grover: An Index of His Papers

President Cleveland's papers are in the Library of Congress. When they microfilmed them, we acquired a set of the films. Thanks to the Library of Congress, here is a searchable index of his papers, featuring the names of people with whom he corresponded. You can check and see if your Buffalo ancestors are among them.

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Cleveland, Grover: Papers on Microfilm

Grover Cleveland's papers are in the Library of Congress. When they microfilmed them, we acquired a set of the films. This is their guide to the contents of the films.

Cleveland, Grover: Top Five Urban Legends

Several claims have been published recently about Buffalo places where Grover Cleveland lived or liked to hang out. Are they true?

Crystal Beach

Selected period photographs from the beloved amusement park in Fort Erie, Ontario.  Now online at NYHeritage.org.

Death Record of Old Buffalo Settlers, 1833-1883, by Thomas Farnham

Thomas Farnham (1809-1883) kept a handwritten record of the passing of Buffalo's earliest residents, with biographical notes. It grew to be over 600 pages long and is now in our collection. He twice published name & death date lists from of his manuscript in the Buffalo Commercial Advertiser. We used those two published lists to compile this index of the people he kept track of. There are over 900 names and death dates here. Farnham tombstone image courtesy of Phyllis Meyer at FindAGrave.com.

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DeForest, Marian (1864-1935): An Inventory of Her Papers

Marian de Forest earned fame far beyond the local scene for her work as a playwright and author. She is best known as the author of Little Women, a dramatic adaptation of the story of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. Little Women was completed in 1911, had stage productions in Buffalo and elsewhere, and received rave reviews on the New York stage in 1912. Perhaps more significantly, the play served as the vehicle for Katharine Cornell's rise to acting stardom in the London stage production in 1919. De Forest also edited and published letters found at the Alcott home in Massachusetts, in a book entitled Little Women: Letters from the House of Alcott.  Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative. De Forest portrait courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Donovan, William J. (1883-1959) Papers

This collection includes Donovan's correspondence and printed material relating to Captain (later Colonel) Donovan's military service with the 1st Cavalry, New York National Guard, and then with the "Fighting 69th" New York Infantry in World War I; his legal career in Buffalo with O'Brian, Hamlin, Donovan & Goodyear; and his involvement with the American Legion, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association, and Columbia University, circa 1915-1920. Correspondents include Douglas MacArthur. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

Early Settlers Index

A list of over 6,000 names of adults who settled in Buffalo, mostly prior to 1840. Be sure to click on Sources, which shows where we found these names. We add names from time to time if we find a good list. Illustration from Pioneer History of the Holland Land Purchase, 1849.

Echando Raices: Hispanics Building a Life & Legacy in Western NY

In September 2014, we unveiled our first-ever exhibit on Hispanic history in Buffalo. The original exhibit panel designs from Echando Raices are shown here. Many thanks to Mr. Casimiro Rodriguez and the Hispanic Heritage Council for their assistance.

Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative: Our Finding Aids

The Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative (EADC) is a new shared venture where libraries and archives are uploading the inventories to our offline, archival collections. At this link, you can browse the finding aids, collection guides, and inventories that we have contributed so far, and search everything that has been added by institutions across NY state.

Erie & Barge Canal: A Bibliography

When the Erie Canal opened in 1825, it transformed Buffalo into an economic powerhouse. The largest collection of archival Erie canal records, including construction and administration, is in the New York State Archives. Here is what we happened to collect. This list is at WorldCat.

Erie County Prisoner Identification Cards

Names of 1,025 inmates at the Erie County Penitentiary from 1896 to 1914. The majority of the pictures date from 1899-1905. The photographs have warped over the years, are not digitized or online, and may be seen by visiting in person. A Scholar Pass is required to use this collection.

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Esenwein & Johnson Records and Richard Goehle Papers

Records of the architectural firm of Esenwein & Johnson, including job contracts, specifications and plans, 1898-1940; records concerning lease of office space in Ellicott Square Building, 1897-1926; partnership with B. Frank Kelly, 1932; and bank records, employee tax records, account books and ledgers, 1910-1942. Includes plan of marble mosaic floor for Ellicott Square Building, designed by James A. Johnson and W.W. Kent, 1930. All were donated by Mr. Goehle, the firm's office manager. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative

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Fillmore, Millard: A Bibliography

President Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) returned to Buffalo after his political career and devoted himself to civic efforts. He was the first president of the Buffalo History Museum (formerly the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society). Listed here are Fillmore-related books and manuscripts in our library, including items pertaining to his family. This list is at WorldCat.

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Fillmore, Millard: Guide to Papers

Fillmore's papers are on 66 rolls of microfilm. This guide explains what is on each roll.

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Food, Restaurants & Cookbooks: A Bibliography

Listed here are cookbooks, restaurant guides, and anything else related to recipes, banquets, cafes, grocery stores, bakeries, dairies, meat packers, confectioners, etc. All are in our library collection. The photographs listed here are not digitized and must be viewed in person. We also have a growing, uncataloged Buffalo-area menu collection.

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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender History in the Buffalo Area: A Bibliography

Welcome to the first known bibliography of Buffalo's LGBTQ history! Listed here are books, periodicals, manuscripts, multi-media, and a few articles dealing with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender history and experience in Buffalo, NY, and the surrounding western/upstate New York area. These items are found in the collections of the Buffalo History Museum and libraries other than the Buffalo History Museum. This list is at WorldCat.

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Genealogy Basics at the Buffalo History Museum

An online slide show/tutorial about what to expect if you plan a family history research trip to our Library. Illustration courtesy of Wikimedia.

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Genealogy Collections: An Overview

A brief overview of our genealogy greatest hits: censuses; church records; city directories; death, obituary and cemetery records; marriage indexes; military service indexes; social directories; telephone directories; and voter registration lists. Image courtesy of PublicDomainVectors.org

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Genealogy in Buffalo & Erie County: A Bibliography

A list of of the best books for those researching ancestors and family history in Buffalo and Erie County, NY. Omitted are single-name books, microfilms, and other non-book items. Some titles appear twice because of being issued in different editions or versions. We tried to focus on works available in Buffalo area libraries, but some are owned only by out-of-town libraries. This list is at WorldCat.

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Goodyear, A. Conger: War of 1812 Manuscripts

Anson Conger Goodyear (1877-1964) collected letters and documents from the period and donated them to us. An inventory of his collection is now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative. Map courtesy of the Library of Congress

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Grain Elevators & Grain Industry in Buffalo: A Bibliography

Behemoth concrete silos still line the Buffalo waterfront, monuments from the years when Buffalo was one of the largest grain ports in the world. All items listed here are in the library collection and focus on grain elevators, grain scoopers, and Buffalo's flour milling & feed industry.

Grain Elevators in Buffalo: A Google Map

A thorough map of all known Buffalo grain elevators, past and present, including elevators that were on land that has since been excavated to enlarge the Buffalo River.

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Green & Wicks: A Bibliography

Buffalo's most notable architectural firm, Green & Wicks (later E.B. Green & Son), was founded in 1881. They designed over 350 works throughout the Northeast, with a concentration of about 200 houses, banks, office buildings, churches, and public buildings in Buffalo, NY. The firm went through several changes in name and personnel and was called James, Meadow & Howard at the time it folded in 1974. This list features items owned by the Buffalo History Museum and libraries other than the Buffalo History Museum. This list is at WorldCat.

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Hispanic/Latino History in Buffalo: A Bibliography

Listed here are books, manuscripts, theses, and dissertations about Buffalo-area Hispanics & Latinos/Latinas in the library collection. This list is at WorldCat.

Historic Markers in Buffalo & Erie County: A Google Map

This map shows historic markers in Buffalo and Erie County that have been submitted to the Historic Marker Database. In 2017, they graciously provided a file of the Erie County markers and allowed us to upload it to our own Google map.

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Holland Land Company and Joseph Ellicott: A Bibliography

Joseph Ellicott (1760-1826) is considered the founder of Buffalo, NY. As an agent of the Holland Land Company, he supervised land sales to the first settlers of Western New York. Listed here are books and manuscripts in the library collection about the Holland Land Company, including Joseph Ellicott and his family.

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House History at The Buffalo History Museum

An online slide show/tutorial, newly revised and expanded.

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House History Handbooks: A Bibliography

These books form the core collection for anyone who wants to research a house, church, factory, or any other kind of building in the Buffalo, NY area. All are available in our library. This list is at WorldCat.

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Immigrants in Buffalo: A Short Reading List

If you were to read just one work on each of Buffalo’s major ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural populations, here are some suggestions. We chose histories, studies, and memoirs for this list. Every item is available in our library and some are online in full text. Illustration courtesy of Wikimedia.

Index to Buffalo Artists’ Register

Published in 1926, the 460-page Buffalo Artists' Register is essentially a biographical dictionary of local painters, sculptors, designers, architects, musicians, dancers, singers, actors, playwrights, photographers, poets, and teachers in these fields. What we are able to offer online is just the index, so you can look up specific names. Illustration from PublicDomainPictures.net.

Index to Men of Medicine in Erie County

When Jane Woodward published her 1971 book, Men of Medicine in Erie County, it lacked an index. In 1982, Sharon Keller produced an index. The book is offline but here is the index. The book covers not only prominent physicians, but the history of hospitals, epidemics, and medical advances in Buffalo and Erie County, NY. Illustration from Buffalo Medical Journal, 1914.

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Influenza in Buffalo, 1918-1919: A Bibliography

A guide to online and offline sources of how Buffalo responded to the flu pandemic of 1918-1919. Includes a copy of the City quarantine notice.

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Irish-American & Buffalo’s Old First Ward: A Bibliography

Listed here are fiction and nonfiction items in our library that have to do with Irish-Americans, Buffalo's Old First Ward, and South Buffalo. This list is at WorldCat.

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James, Meadows and Howard: Airport Renovation and County Stadium Projects

James, Meadows and Howard originally began as the Green & Wicks architectural firm in 1884. The firm's designs included the Federal Reserve Bank on South Elmwood Avenue, and buildings in the Buffalo General Hospital and Children's Hospital complexes, Erie County Medical Center, and at the University of Buffalo. The firm was dissolved in 1974. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

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Jonson, George W. (1801-1880) Diaries

George Washington Jonson (sometimes misspelled Johnson), a Buffalo lawyer, land agent, and abolitionist, kept detailed diaries for most of his adult life. His citizen activism included work with the Underground Railroad, opposition to debtor's prisons, and participation in the movement to impeach President Andrew Johnson.  We have several of his diaries. Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Ku Klux Klan Membership List

In 1924, the KKK had a short-lived chapter in Buffalo. Here is a list of members with a short essay on how the Klan managed to get a toehold on the Niagara Frontier.

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Larkin Company: A Bibliography

Founded by John D. Larkin in 1875, the Larkin Company started out as a soap factory and became a mail-order house to rival Sears & Roebuck, selling furniture, china, groceries, paint, wallpaper, and dry goods. Largely defunct by the end of the Great Depression, Larkin is best remembered today for hiring a young Frank Lloyd Wright to design its Administration Building, an architectural landmark that was demolished in 1950. Featured here are books, theses, dissertations, manuscripts, company records, and similar print sources on the company and its subsidiaries, including Buffalo Pottery, in the collection. This list is at WorldCat.

Larkin Filmstrip from ca. 1930: Mrs. James Brown Starts a Larkin Club

This is one of 3 filmstrips produced by the Larkin Company around 1930 to recruit women to join Larkin buying clubs. Filmstrips were essentially the slide shows of the period, with black & white still images that were narrated by a live speaker.

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Levine, Adeline: Love Canal Collection

Dr. Adeline Levine (1926-2015), a professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1968 to 1990, studied the sociological aspects of the Love Canal disaster. She donated her papers to us in 1994. The inventory of this extensive collection is now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative. Photo courtesy of the New York State Department of Health.

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Lyman, Duane and Associates, Architects

This collection chiefly reflects the schools and other public buildings, office buildings, and church structures which were designed by Duane S. Lyman for clients in Buffalo and Western New York State. Included are proposals, plans, job descriptions, budget estimates, and photographs. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

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Martin, Darwin D. and Larkin Company Papers

Includes some of Darwin Martin's correspondence, plus incorporation records, financial records, sales summaries, advertisements and catalogs, employee guides, publications and inventories of the Larkin Company, Inc. of Buffalo, N.Y.; and Darwin Martin's scrapbook documenting the Pan-American Exposition of 1901. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

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McKinley, William: An Assassination Bibliography

In September 1901, William McKinley traveled to Buffalo, NY to tour the Pan American Exposition. While shaking hands in the Temple of Music on September 6, he was shot by Leon Czolgosz. He died on September 14, 1901, whereupon Theodore Roosevelt was summoned to Buffalo and hastily inaugurated. Czolgosz was found guilty and was executed on October 29, 1901. Shown here are books and manuscript material in our library. This list is at WorldCat.

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Niagara County Records, 1808-1830

Appointments of auctioneers, coroners, judges and justices, clerks, inspectors, sheriffs and notaries, 1808-1821; supersedes, 1810-1821; oaths of allegiance to the United States and to New York State, 1808-1823; oaths of office of county clerks, justices and commissioners, military officers, sheriffs, under-sheriffs, coroners and others, 1808-1820; orders of levy by Jonathan Bailey, James Sheldon, Oziel Smith, Samuel Wilkeson and other justices, including some receipts, 1813-1830; lists of qualified and disqualified jurors from Niagara County towns, 1808-1821; and a grand jury presentment, 1819. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

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Offbeat Buffalo: A Bibliography

Odd local book titles that amuse us and weird stuff that has been published here. This list is at WorldCat.

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Olmstead, Frederick Law: A Bibliography

Buffalo is home to Frederick Law Olmsted's first park system, an integrated network of parks and parkways. Shown here are items by Olmsted and about our region's Olmsted legacy. All are in the collection of our library. This list is at WorldCat.

On This Day Calendar

On This Day in Buffalo History: A calendar of events in Buffalo-area history, compiled by the staff of the Research Library. Image courtesy of Pickpik.com.

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Orphan Home Records: A List

These are the only items in our collection that identify children by name in any of Buffalo’s orphanages.  They are not digitized or online and must be used in person. The links provide greater bibliographic detail about each source. Image courtesy of Pickpik.com.

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Pan-American Exposition Company Records

Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative. Stock certificate courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Pan-American Exposition: A Bibliography

Listed here are books, dissertations, pamphlets, scrapbooks, and even a few magazine articles and pieces of sheet music in our collection. Our Pan-Am photographic collections & albums are listed but not digitized, so an in-person visit is needed to see them. Not listed are our many Pan-Am drawings, posters, maps, and ephemera such as souvenirs, ticket stubs, brochures, and envelopes. This list is at WorldCat.

Pan-American Exposition: A Visual Guide

We thought it would answer some popular Pan-Am questions to develop charts of everything on the grounds: buildings, gardens, canals, sculpture, and Midway attractions, with their designers/promoters,  pictures where available, and a note about their fate, if we could establish it. Check out the bonus section on hotels & lodgings, of which there were at least 230. This project is ongoing and we'll fill in blanks as we can. Bird's Eye View courtesy of Wikimedia.

Pan-American Exposition: List of Prizes

We are often asked to verify if someone won a medal at the Pan-American Exposition. About 4,500 awards, medals, and honors were bestowed at the Pan-Am. Here is the only list that we know of, originally published in the Buffalo Morning Express, October 10, 1901. Awards are listed in order by category, not surname. This PDF is the most legible copy we could make.

Pan-American Exposition: Then and Now

This project is based on our map of the Pan-American overlaid with today's streets [PDF]. We highlighted in yellow the New York State Building, which became the home of The Buffalo History Museum in 1902, and the Temple of Music, where President McKinley was assassinated. The UB Libraries then took our map and built it into an interactive site with aerial photos and images of the major buildings, calling it A Guide to Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition.

Pearce & Pearce Collection: Index of Addresses

Pearce & Pearce was a company that built a lot of post-war suburban houses and a few commercial developments in Tonawanda, Amherst & Clarence. In 2017, we acquired their business records. If you own a Pearce & Pearce house, we may have the original paperwork from your home. Here's an index of the addresses for which we have files.

Picture Book of Earlier Buffalo (1912)

Back when we were the Buffalo Historical Society, we released this edition (v. 16 of our Publications, 1912) of 400 photographs and renderings of Buffalo, most of which were from the 19th century. The volume is now in the public domain and has been digitized by Google Books. You are free to use the images as you see fit.

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Picture Collections: A Guide

The Buffalo History Museum has been collecting visual material of all kinds ever since we were founded in 1862.  We have an estimated 200,000 images sorted into about 100 specialized collections.  Nearly all of these collections focus on the people, places, things, and events of the Buffalo/Niagara area.  This guide describes our major photographic collections, which are mostly undigitized and offline.

Picture Store

About 2,000 vintage Buffalo images from our collection are available as home or office decor, keepsakes, and high-resolution digital downloads. All proceeds support the care and housing of Museum collections.

Pierce, Maris B. (1811-1874) Papers

Born on the Allegany Reservation in 1810, Pierce graduated from Dartmouth, making him one of the first Seneca Indians to get a college education. After college, he settled on the Buffalo Creek Reservation and fought against the removal of Seneca from their lands. All 800+ of his letters and papers are now digitized. We believe they are among the oldest surviving personal papers of a Native person in the United States.

Planning Your First Visit to the Research Library

An online slide show about our hours, policies, etc.

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Porter, Augustus (1769-1849) Papers

In 1806, Augustus Porter moved his family to Niagara Falls and developed a business interest, with his brother Peter B. Porter, Benjamin Barton, and Joseph Annin. They purchased a large tract of land from the State of New York, adjacent to and above Niagara Falls. They had exclusive rights of transporting various goods and services across this acreage. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative

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Porter, Peter B. (1773-1844) Papers

Peter Buell Porter (1773-1844) was an American lawyer, soldier, and politician who served as U.S. Secretary of War from 1828 to 1829. He had extensive land and business interests in Buffalo, Black Rock, and Niagara Falls. This is a guide to the microfilmed version of his papers. Portrait of Porter from Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase of Western New York (1849).

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Porterfield, Wilbur (1873-1958): A List of Photographs

Wilbur Porterfield was a staff photographer at the Buffalo Courier-Express newspaper. This collection is comprised of over 7,600 black & white landscapes and cityscapes, nearly all in Western New York. They are boxed in order by broad subject categories, as shown in the Classification column. Each photograph is individually listed. They are not digitized or online and can be viewed in person.

Presidential Visits to Buffalo: A List

Starting with James Monroe in 1818, a lot of U.S. presidents have visited Buffalo as candidates, during their terms, or after they left office. Here is our list. The illustration is courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net.

Prohibition Raids in Erie County, 1920-1923: A Google Map

Based on newspaper articles and other sources from the period, here are about 900 sites in Buffalo and Erie County raided by federal authorities during the early years of Prohibition, 1920-1923. Map points are color-coded by type of building.

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Protest, Radicalism & Social Movements in Buffalo: A Bibliography

Civil rights, labor strikes, riots, anti-war movements, socialism, communism, activism, reform, and protest of all kinds in the Buffalo, NY area.  Everything listed here is in our library. This list is at WorldCat.

Revolutionary War Veterans in Western NY

A list of about 150 names transcribed from a small, handwritten card file giving places of burial, plus a checkmark indicating if we have a photocopy of the veteran's pension file.

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Roberts-Sidway-Spaulding Papers, 1850-1936

The papers of James A. Roberts; Frank S. Sidway; the  Sidway, Skinner & Moore firm; and Elbridge G. Spaulding. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

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Seneca Indian Collections

The Buffalo History Museum has been collecting materials that document the first occupants of this land ever since we were founded in 1862. This is an extensive list. We add links when we find any of these works online in full text. Illustration of wampum from Extra Census Bulletin: Indians: The Six Nations of New York (1892), p. 48.

Slideshare.net

We have several Powerpoint talks and tutorials online here: Genealogy, House History, Women Architects, Hispanic History, and planning your first visit to our library.

St. Francis Xavier Cemetery Records, 1850-1982

These pages are digital scans of the microfilmed cemetery records from St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in Black Rock. St. Francis Xavier Cemetery is located on Niagara Street next to Riverside Park and was in operation from 1850-1982.

Tagpacker.com

Tagpacker.com is a social bookmarking tool. We use it to keep track of useful websites for Buffalo-area history & genealogy. We have over 1,500 links sorted into easy-to-understand categories or "tags." We add links all the time.

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Talbert, Mary B. (1866-1923) Family Papers

Mary B. Talbert was an early African American leader, graduate of Oberlin College, co-founder of the Niagara Movement of Colored People (later to become the N.A.A.C.P.), and president of the Federated Negro Women's Clubs of the United States. These papers largely concern property and estate matters within the Talbert family. Inventory now online at the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative.

The Album: Back Issues of Our Newsletter

Browse full-text copies of our colorful member newsletter, which is issued quarterly and features artifacts, events, and photos. To get free home delivery of The Album, we invite you to join as a member of the Museum.

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Underground Railroad and Abolition in Buffalo & Upstate NY: A Bibliography

There is no published book-length history of the Underground Railroad in Buffalo, NY. The closest we have is books and articles about the Niagara Frontier and upstate/western New York in general, which are listed here. This bibliography features works owned by the Buffalo History Museum plus works owned by institutions other than us.  This list is at WorldCat.

Undertaker Records, 1883-1899

The Buffalo History Museum has ledgers from two Buffalo funeral directors, Henry Farwell and Theophilus Speyser. This is an A-Z list of everyone they recorded in their ledgers, over 3,100 names from 1883 to 1899. These are our only funeral home records.

Vietnam War Casualties from Western New York

Here are 548 names drawn from Patrick Kavanagh's In Remembrance Of, a scrapbook of obituaries and news articles about servicemen and women from Western New York who lost their lives serving in the Vietnam War, compiled in 2015. His scrapbook is not online but he granted permission for us to digitize the index. Illustration courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net.

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War of 1812 in the Buffalo/Niagara Area: A Bibliography

This list doesn't include every possible source that mentions Buffalo, NY, but it does lead you to the most important ones about how Buffalo, Black Rock, and both sides of the Niagara River experienced the War of 1812. All of the items listed here are in the Library collection. This list is at WorldCat.

War of 1812: Register of Soldiers in the Williamsville Hospital, 1814-1815

Here are black & white scans of over 300 pages of handwritten notes on the soldiers admitted to the Williamsville Hospital during the War of 1812. The original register is in the collection of the U.S. National Archives. Scans were acquired and shared with us by the Cheektowaga Historical Association.

Wilcox, Ansley: Scrapbook, 1901

Digitized by the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site as part of an initiative sponsored by the Theodore Roosevelt Center in North Dakota, this is the scrapbook compiled by Ansley Wilcox in 1901. Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office in Wilcox's mansion after the assassination of President William McKinley. The original scrapbook remains in our collection. Portrait of Wilcox courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Women’s History in the Buffalo/Niagara Area: A Bibliography

Includes works by and about notable and ordinary women, including organizations, biographies, suffrage, professions, and more. We're limited to 500 items on these lists, so we have more than we were able to include. This list is at WorldCat.

Women’s History: A Google Map

To celebrate the centennial of women's suffrage in the US, we developed a map of over 100 sites in the Buffalo area associated with women's activities and achievements in business, education, politics, charities, the arts, and more. This map was begun by intern Amber Levias in 2019. We are still adding addresses.

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Works Progress Administration (WPA)

The largest collection of records and archival material from the WPA is in the U.S. National Archives in Washington, D.C.  Their papers are not digitized or online, so an in-person visit is needed to view their files.  This guide is devoted to what is in our library. Poster courtesy of the Library of Congress.

WorldCat.org Lists & Bibliographies

This one is for those who do research in bricks & mortar libraries like ours. Here are lists of mostly undigitized, offline books & manuscripts on various popular Buffalo topics. Did you know that we have 150 items on the Pan-American Exposition? And over 450 having to do with women's history? We maintain 35 bibliographies at WorldCat.

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Wright, Frank Lloyd in the Buffalo Area: A Bibliography

Buffalo has more Wright-designed buildings than any other city except Chicago. The items listed here are in our library collection. This list is at WorldCat.

Search Our Catalog

The FRANK Library Catalog is the most comprehensive tool to search for resources and collections, including those not available online, within the Museum’s Research Library.

You can also explore an array of digital collections and projects from the Research Library below.