Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Building

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Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society Building

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society is located on Nottingham Court in the city of Buffalo, just east of Elmwood Avenue, 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 (then) 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.

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

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.

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, the Peter Buell Porter Papers, the Mary Burnett Talbert papers,Larkin Company records and memorabilia, and an extensive Pan American Exposition collection.

Additional resources include 20,000 books; 200,000 photographs; 50,000 plans, drawings, maps, posters, prints, and broadsides; 6,500 microfilms of newspapers, church records, cemetery records, 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.

FRANK, its online catalog of books and manuscripts, is freely searchable online.