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Planning Your First Visit to the Research Library


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Planning a visit from out of town to do research at The Buffalo History Museum? Here is what to know in advance to make the best use of your time. in our Library.

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  • Hello Research Library. Dr. Clarence Harper and I are planning to visit the week of July 16. Who can I contact to help us prepare for our visit? We will be doing research on Charles Taylor who invineted the ice cream machine in 1926 in Buffalo. Please let me know name and contact person I can talk to before our visit.
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  • Dr. Clarence Harper and I are planning to drive to Buffalo during the week of August 16th to go to the Research Library to work on publishing a book on the History of the Taylor Company and it's founder Charles Taylor in Buffalo in 1926. I would like to contact someone who could help us see what is available at the Research Libray
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Planning Your First Visit to the Research Library

  1. 1. Planning Your First Visit to the Research Library Research Library The Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY 14216
  2. 2. We’re a National Historic Landmark • Founded in 1862 as the Buffalo Historical Society • Building designed by George Cary in 1900 • Expanded our name in 1960 to the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society • Shortened our name in 2012 to The Buffalo History Museum
  3. 3. How to find us • 1 Museum Court, formerly 25 Nottingham Court • North of Rt. 198 off Elmwood Ave. • Free parking & bike rack • Take the #20 Elmwood bus route, exit at Nottingham • The Library is on the main floor of the white marble temple
  4. 4. Admission • Free to Museum members and U.S. veterans • Students & seniors: $5.00 • All others: $10.00 • Because of the irreplaceability and fragility of library materials, children under 12 are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the public library • We encourage parents & teachers to bring children to museum exhibits and programs instead.
  5. 5. Hours • Library hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1-5 pm • Plus Wednesday evenings, 6-8 pm • No appointments necessary • Professional librarians are always on duty to help you find what you need
  6. 6. Visiting when we are closed? We suggest trying the Grosvenor Room at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. It has a superb local history & genealogy collection.
  7. 7. • Collecting since 1862! • 20,000+ books • 200,000 photographs • 3,000 manuscript collections • 6,000 postcards • Extensive Vertical/Pamphlet File • 23-drawer Clippings file • 6,000+ microfilms of newspapers, censuses, church records, cemetery records, and more Our Collections at a Glance
  8. 8. A Few Things We Don’t Have • Vital records: government-issued birth, marriage & death certificates • House plans with a couple dozen exceptions • Passenger lists or immigration & naturalization records • School attendance records • Deeds or property transactions • Employment records • Motion picture or TV footage So where are these things?
  9. 9. Everything Can Be Retrieved in Minutes Except… • 10,000 maps, drawings, posters, prints, and other oversized works on paper • About 3 dozen extremely large, heavy ledgers from a few manuscript collections • Negatives • All of the above are stored off-site and may be seen by appointment
  10. 10. A Few Rules • Purses, backpacks, briefcases, etc., are stored in our mini-lockers during your visit • Library materials may not be borrowed or removed from room • Cotton gloves are required for handling photographs. We keep a large supply. • Staff does all photocopying. Some things are too large or fragile to photocopy. • We scan only for publication or exhibition. Fees apply.
  11. 11. All Library Visitors Must Sign In • We ask for your full name, address, email or phone number, and what you’re researching • Sign-in is done via touch-screen tablet computer • We are happy to help anyone who is new to tablets
  12. 12. Please, No Food or Drink in the Library • Many good restaurants within a 10-minute walk • The Museum does not have an on-site café • Your snacks & beverages can be enjoyed in the State Court
  13. 13. Please silence phones and take calls outside of the library
  14. 14. What about cameras? Please do take pictures of museum buildings, interiors, exhibits, grounds, programs, and events! And post them on social media with #BuffaloHistory
  15. 15. What about cameras? Please do not take pictures of library items until you check with librarians. We limit picture-taking of: • Manuscripts • Photographs • Other library users
  16. 16. New! Museum Quality Reproductions • Order online at • Custom archival prints of Buffalo scenes for home or office decor • Great gift idea
  17. 17. Pencils only. We have lots! This prevents accidental ink marks on irreplaceable items.
  18. 18. Technology on Site • FRANK, our online catalog • Yes, we have WiFi; laptops & tablets welcome! • Two microfilm reader-printers, $.25/page. • One microfilm reader-printer-scanner. Please bring a USB travel drive to save your scans. • Photocopies made only by staff, $.25 each. Our machine cannot make color copies, just black & white.
  19. 19. Our Most Popular Tool
  20. 20. Screening Process for Manuscripts & Rare Books • In order to protect one-of-a-kind collections, those who wish to use manuscripts & rare books must apply for a Scholar Pass and present a valid photo ID upon arrival • Pictures, microfilm, atlases, card files, and ordinary books do not require a Scholar Pass • Application and guidelines are online here:
  21. 21. Search FRANK before your visit • • Find Resources And New Knowledge: A searchable online catalog of 28,000 books & manuscripts in our collection • In your search results, books are indicated by blue icons; manuscripts by red icons & hyphens in call numbers (like A68-123). • You can save items to the Clipboard & print out a list
  22. 22. Explore unique digital collections from us & peer institutions, including: • War of 1812 documents • Crystal Beach photographs • Buffalo address books More Library collections online here: • Library/Digitized-Materials.aspx
  23. 23. • Consider it Google for the offline world • Free database listing 1 billion offline items in thousands of libraries, including us! • Lists books, newspapers, videos, films, sound recordings, archival collections, etc. • We suggest trying the Advanced Search
  24. 24. A Few Things We Cannot Do • We do not have enough space to pull things for you in advance • We cannot draw genealogical conclusions or find your ancestors for you • We cannot appraise or advise you on the market value of your books & collectibles • We cannot scan and email books or collections
  25. 25. What We Can Do • Search for obituaries: • Retrieve books, etc., upon arrival • Mail photocopies from items that can withstand photocopying: $10 for the first 1-20 copies, $.50/page thereafter • Lend newspaper & other microfilm through interlibrary loan (ILL) • Answer “How do I find…?” questions • Suggest strategies & get out items that may answer your questions
  26. 26. Contact us Email: Telephone: (716) 873-9644 x 305 For best results, call Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1-5 pm
  27. 27. We look forward to your visit!