Because of the irreplaceable and often fragile documents and papers in the Research Library, we have rules for Library visitors that are probably different than what you're used to. This short slide show to get you acquainted with us.
We’re a National Historic Landmark
Founded in 1862 as the Buffalo Historical Society
Building designed by George Cary in 1900
Changed our name in 1960 to Buffalo & Erie
County Historical Society
Changed our name in 2012 to Buffalo History
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
Three Closest Lodgings for
Foundry Suites Hotel
Elmwood Village Inn
There are more options!
Free to Society members and U.S. veterans
$7.00 for all others
Because of the irreplaceability and fragility of library
collections, children under 12 are strongly
encouraged to use the public library instead of our
We invite parents & teachers to bring children to
museum exhibits and programs instead.
Library hours are
Saturdays, 1-5 pm
Professional librarians are
always on duty to help you
find what you need
When we are closed, we suggest visiting the
Grosvenor Room at the Buffalo & Erie County
Public Library. It has a superb local history &
Collecting since 1862!
2,000 manuscript collections
Extensive Vertical/Pamphlet File
22-drawer Clippings file
6,000+ microfilms of newspapers, censuses,
church records, cemetery records, and more
Our Collections at a Glance
A Few Things We Don’t Have
Vital records (government-issued birth, marriage & death
Your house plans
Immigration & naturalization records
School attendance records
Deeds or property transactions
Motion picture or TV footage
So where are these things?
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
All of the above are stored off-site and may be seen
A Few Rules
Purses, backpacks, briefcases, etc., are kept behind
the desk during your visit
Library materials may not be borrowed or removed
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.
All Library Visitors Must
We ask for your full name and address
Effective January 1, 2015, signing in will be done via
touch-screen tablet computers instead of clipboard
We are happy to help anyone who is new to tablets
Please, No Food or Drink in
Many good restaurants within a 10-minute walk
The Museum does not have an on-site café
Your snacks can be enjoyed in the State Court
Please silence phones and take
calls outside of the library
What about cameras?
You may take pictures of museum buildings,
grounds, programs, events, and the library interior
for noncommercial purposes.
Please add them to our Flickr group!
You may not take pictures of library books,
photos, maps, documents, collections, etc.
New! Museum Quality Reproductions
Order online at BuffaloHistoryStore.org
Custom archival prints of Buffalo scenes for home
or office decor
Great gift idea
Pencils only. We have lots!
This prevents accidental ink
marks on irreplaceable
Technology on Site
FRANK, our online catalog
Yes, we have WiFi, laptops welcome!
Two microfilm reader-printers, $.25/page. Our
machines do not have scanning capability.
Three microfilm readers
Photocopies made only by staff, $.25 each. Our
machine cannot make color copies.
New policy effective
January 1, 2015
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 picture
Pictures, microfilm, atlases, card files, and ordinary
books do not require a Scholar Pass
Application and guidelines are online here:
Search FRANK before your visit
Find Resources And New Knowledge. A searchable
online catalog of 27,000 books & manuscripts in our
In your search results, books are indicated by blue icons,
manuscripts by red icons
To use manuscripts, you must apply for a Scholar Pass
Explore unique digital collections from us & similar
War of 1812 documents
Crystal Beach photographs
Buffalo address books
Consider it Google for the
A free database listing 1 billion
offline items in thousands of
libraries, including us!
Books, newspapers, videos,
films, sound recordings,
archival collections, etc.
We suggest the Advanced
A Few Things We Cannot Do
We cannot set things aside for you in advance
We are not qualified to draw genealogical
conclusions or find your ancestors for you
We cannot provide open-ended research on a list
of names or “fill in gaps” in your family tree
We cannot appraise or advise you on the market
value of your books or other collectibles
We cannot scan and send collections
What We Can Do
Search for obituaries: http://tinyurl.com/TBHM-obitrequest
Retrieve books, etc., upon arrival
Mail photocopies from items that can withstand
photocopying: $10 for the first 1-20 copies,
Lend newspaper & other microfilm through
Answer “How do I find…?” questions
Suggest avenues for research
More About What We Have
Our online collections
Our offline collections
Voice: (716) 873-9644 x 306
For best results, call Wednesdays through Saturdays,