“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something….You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” – JRR Tolkien, The Hobbitt
I decided to fill you all in on how I’ve been doing my research. As most of you know, the internet is a vast, amazing source of knowledge. However, anyone can put forth a website and call it fact. I’ve decided to do the majority of my research through conventional means. In short, I’m a bookworm. And libraries are important.
In Buffalo, we’re lucky to have two wonderful resources involving Buffalo historical research, the Research Library at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society (BECHS) and the Grovesnor Room at the Central Library. If you’ve never been to either of these locations, I highly recommend stopping by. You can get lost in the old books, discovering new things and diving into stacks and stacks of Buffalo history. Amazing resources are available, right under our fingertips.
The Research Library at BECHS is located at what most people refer to as the History Museum. The library documents the history of Buffalo and the region, and has several special collections. If you haven’t been to the History Museum since your 4th grade field trip or to pose for wedding pics, you should definitely stop by, revisit the exhibits (the new Pioneer Room just opened this summer) and poke your head in the library. Cynthia, the librarian at BECHS, has been extremely helpful in letting me know about the existence of articles about the history of Buffalo Streets, being supportive of my intent to start the blog, and reminding me to cite my sources!
The Grovesnor Room used to be its own library, which operated as a non-circulating reference library since 1871. It provided library services until 1963 when it merged with the Buffalo Public Library when the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library was founded. The room, located at the Central library contains a large collection of books about Buffalo, as well as a local history file, scrapbooks, microfilm of numerous newspapers, and maps.
My favorite things in the Grovesnor Room are the feasibility study that was done to decide where to locate the Bills stadium when they were moving from the Rockpile (Orchard Park wasn’t even on the list!). And they have the original blueprints for Memorial Auditorium (RIP my beloved Aud). The librarians in the Grovesnor Room are also wonderful, providing resources and encouragement while I sit and do research. I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Local History File, and the Buffalo History Scrapbooks, full of newspaper clippings, some more than 100 years old!!
If anyone has any questions about my sources for any of the information, feel free to contact me and let me know. And if you ever want to spend an afternoon getting lost in Buffalo history, let me know and I’ll meet you at the library!