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About this collection

The Buffalo History Museum, founded in 1862, is located in the northwest corner of Delaware Park. Major collections among the 80,000-plus items in our care include Pan-American Exposition artifacts and records, the Red Jacket Peace Medal, the Pierce Motorette (a pioneering motor vehicle), and prototype pacemakers. Sketches and paintings chronicle two centuries of growth of the city of Buffalo and surrounding land, and portraiture ranges from Peter Porter, one time Secretary of War, to Presidents Grover Cleveland and Millard Fillmore.

The Research Library and Archives collections document the history of the City of Buffalo and the surrounding region. Collection strengths include Native Americans in Western New York, settlement of Western New York, the War of 1812, the Pan-American Exposition, local regiments in the Civil War, the Erie Canal, pictures of Niagara Falls, and local newspapers. Researchers will find 20,000 books, 200,000 images, over 6,500 microfilms, and many more resources.

Images and documents from Buffalo History Museum collections hosted by New York Heritage may be used without charge for noncommercial, educational purposes only. All commercial use or use in any product, service, or event for which fees will be charged requires written permission and payment of licensing fees.

Buffalo History Museum's Research Library is a member of the Western New York Library Resources Council (WNYLRC).

Buffalo History Museum Information:

Buffalo History Museum
Research Library
One Museum Court
Buffalo, NY 14216
Phone: (716) 873-9644 x306
Library hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1-5 pm, no appointments necessary.
Admission: free for Society members, $7 for all others.

Buffalo History Museum Collections:

Buffalo Address Book and Family Directory

Buffalo Ku Klux Klan Membership List

Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Maps

Buffalo Postcards

Charles Rand Penney Trail

Crystal Beach

War of 1812

Buffalo Express

The Buffalo Express was a Buffalo, NY, and Erie County region daily newspaper published 1866-1878; it was both preceeded and succeeded by Buffalo Morning Express. This digital collection features 620 issues dated June 4, 1869-June 9, 1871.

"Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) co-owned and co-edited The Buffalo Express from August 1869 to March 1871. During that period, he contributed sixty feature stories, thirty-one editorials, and thirty brief entries in a "People and Things" column. Some stories focused on local issues, such as greedy coroners, deteriorating graveyards, dusty street conditions, and incompetent postmasters. Some of the ten stories in his "Around the World" series were incorporated into Roughing It (1872). The Buffalo Express issues from Twain's seventeen-month tenure at the newspaper are part of this digital collection."
—Dr. Tom Reigstad, Emeritus Professor of English, SUNY Buffalo State

Here is an excerpt from Twain's "salutatory," an editorial he published in the newspaper upon beginning his editorship there:

"Being a stranger, it would be immodest and unbecoming in me to suddenly and violently assume the associate editorship of the Buffalo Express without a single explanatory word of comfort or encouragement to the unoffending patrons of the paper who are about to be exposed to constant attacks of my wisdom and learning. . . . I am not going to introduce any startling reforms, or in any way attempt to make trouble. . . . I shall not make use of slang or vulgarity upon any occasion or under any circumstances, and never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes. Indeed, upon second thought, I will not even use it then, for it is unchristian, inelegant and degrading—though to speak truly I do not see how house rent and taxes are going to be discussed worth a cent without it. I shall not often meddle with politics, because we have a political editor who is already excellent, and only needs to serve a term in the penitentiary in order to be perfect. I shall not write any poetry, unless I conceive a spite against the subscribers. Such is my platform."
(Twain, The Buffalo Express, 1869-08-21, page 2)
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