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Buffalo History Museum

The Buffalo History Museum
South facade, 2012
Buffalo History Museum is located in New York
Buffalo History Museum
Location One Museum Court, Buffalo, NY
Area less than one acre
Built 1901
Architect Cary, George
Architectural style Neoclassical
Governing body The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
NRHP Reference # 80002606
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 23, 1980[1]
Designated NHL February 27, 1987[2]
The Buffalo History Museum, Pediment detail

The Buffalo History Museum (founded as the Buffalo Historical Society, and later named the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society) is located at 1 Museum Court (formerly 25 Nottingham Court)[3] in Buffalo, New York, just east of Elmwood Avenue and off of Nottingham Terrace, north of the Scajaquada Expressway, in the northwest corner of Delaware Park. It occupies the building constructed in 1901 as the New York State pavilion for that year's Pan American Exposition, the sole surviving permanent structure from the exposition. As planned, the Buffalo Historical Society moved into the building after the exposition.

Designed by Buffalo architect George Cary (1859–1945), its south portico is meant to evoke the Parthenon, in Athens. In 1987, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.[2][4]

Founded in 1862, the Buffalo Historical Society's first president was Millard Fillmore. Its exhibits, programs, and events are a magnet for schoolchildren, families, and students.[5] It has hosted observances of Lincoln's Birthday for over a century. In 1960, the Society changed its name to the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and in October 2012 it became The Buffalo History Museum.

From 1879 to 1947, the Society published pioneering scholarship on the people, events, and history of the Niagara Frontier. Many of those volumes are now online in full text.[6]


  • Exhibits 1
  • Research Library 2
  • Name change 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


All three floors of the building offer exhibits, including the Rotary Gallery (elaborate model trains), the Pioneer Gallery, the Erie County Room, the State Court, the Community Gallery, Native American Gallery, Neighbors, and Bflo Made. The newest addition is a recreation of Tim Russert's office, which opened in October 2014 after having been installed at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. On view by appointment in the Museum's Resource Center on Forest Avenue is the gun used by Leon F. Czolgosz to shoot President William McKinley at the Exposition's Temple of Music on September 6, 1901.

Research Library

Of particular interest to historians, genealogists, researchers, and house history buffs are the collections of the Research Library. Notable collections include the Millard Fillmore Papers,[7] the Peter Buell Porter Papers,[8] the Mary Burnett Talbert papers,[9] Larkin Company records and memorabilia,[10] and an extensive Pan American Exposition collection.[11]

Additional resources include more than 100,000 artifacts; 20,000 books; 200,000 photographs; 50,000 plans, drawings, maps, posters, prints, and broadsides; 6,500 microfilms of newspapers,[12] church records,[13] cemetery records,[14] and censuses; plus an extensive collection of pamphlets, clippings, and similar ephemera, all documenting the people, places, architecture, organizations, businesses, and events in the Buffalo and Niagara frontier region. A number of detailed bibliographies on popular topics are online at WorldCat.[15]

FRANK, its growing catalog of 25,000 books and manuscripts, is freely searchable online.[16]

Name change

On October 25, 2012 the 'The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society' announced it will now be known as 'The Buffalo History Museum'.[3]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ a b "Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-08. 
  3. ^ a b Fetouh, Omar (October 26, 2012). "Historical society renamed The Buffalo History Museum". wbfo. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ George Rollie Adams, Thomas E. Leary, and Scott Eberle (January 13, 1986). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: The New York State Building, Pan American Exposition 1901 / the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Building" (pdf).   and Accompanying photos, from 1985 PDF (416 KB)
  5. ^ Buffalo History Museum Official website
  6. ^ "Buffalo Historical Society Publications". Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  7. ^ "Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Millard Fillmore Papers". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  8. ^ "Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Peter B. Porter Papers". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  9. ^ "Talbert Family Papers, 1872-1933.". Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  10. ^ "Larkin Company Bibliography". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  11. ^ "Pan-American Exposition Bibliography". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  12. ^ "Newspapers on Microfilm at the Buffalo History Museum". Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  13. ^ "Church Records on Microfilm at the Buffalo History Museum". Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  14. ^ "Cemetery Records on Microfilm at the Buffalo History Museum". Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  15. ^ "Lists by the Buffalo History Museum". Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  16. ^ "Welcome to FRANK, the Research Library Catalog of the Buffalo History Museum". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Encyclopedia Americana entry, vol. 3, 1903
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