Research Guides – Check out our Research Guides before your visit so that you get the most out of your trip. These guides outline materials available in the Grosvenor Room by subject. They tell you what materials we have and where to find them in our collection, as well as give referrals to other agencies. Topics covered include city directories, yearbooks, atlases, ethnic groups, census records, and many more!
Vital Records Research –If you are looking for vital records information, please see our Vital Records guide. While the Library carries the New York State Vital Records Index, our collection of vital records certificates is limited. If what you are looking for is not in the Grosvenor Room, see our Government Sources of Vital Records listing to find out where to obtain Erie County records.
Online Catalog – Search our online catalog to see if the resources you are looking for are available in the Grosvenor Room.
Rare Book Room Materials – If the materials you are interested in are housed in the Rare Book Room, an appointment is necessary to view them. Please see the Rare Book Room terms of access for more information.
Databases – Save time spent at the Grosvenor Room by doing some research at home first. The Library subscribes to several databases pertinent to genealogy and local history research. If you have a Buffalo and Erie County Public Library card, most of the databases can be accessed at home. All databases can be used at any B&ECPL location.
You Won’t Want to Miss - Here is a list of some of the unique or harder to find resources available in the Grosvenor Room:
- Local History Files – These files are one of a kind and cover Buffalo and Erie County topics. They index materials such as local newspapers and periodicals, books, and our scrapbook collection.
- Vital Index of Early Western New York Families – This is part of the Western New York Genealogical Society Collection. It is a card file containing 120,000 cards from 75 sources of Births, Deaths, & Marriages of early Western New York families.
- NYS Vital Records Index – The Grosvenor Room is one of the few libraries who carry this resource. It is an index to New York State births, deaths, and marriages. The index will tell you the place and date of the event. To read more about the index and its coverage see our Vital Records guide.
- Scrapbooks – This collection features over 400 scrapbooks containing articles that have been arranged by subject. Numerous local topics are covered in this collection including: biographies, clubs, businesses, architecture, homes, organizations, local history, and much more. Many of these scrapbooks have been indexed in the Local History File.
- Newspapers – The Grosvenor Room carries a large collection of Buffalo newspapers. While Buffalo’s first newspaper came out in 1811, the Library has Buffalo newspapers on microfilm from 1842 to the present. Papers prior to 1842 are in original bound volumes and must be seen by appointment in the Rare Book Room. To view what repositories in New York State carry the newspapers that you are seeking, please see the New York State Newspaper Project website.
Planning and Preparation – Details on directions, hours, parking, copying cost, standard and digital microfilm machines, computer access, and personal laptop use can be found on our Visiting Us web page. If you plan on copying, it is recommended to bring coins or one dollar bills. Larger bills are not accepted in our machines, but you can buy a copy card from Borrower’s Services if you have a larger bill. Change for one and five dollar bills is available from a coin machine near the Washington Street entrance.
Room Policies – Please be aware of Grosvenor Room Policies. These are necessary to help ensure the safety of our valuable and unique materials as well as protect our patrons’ access to our resources.
Cameras – Photographic and digital reproduction of any Library materials whether for personal use or publication requires Library permission. Read our Reproductions and Permissions web page for further details.
Local Links – Here are some other places and websites that may help with your Buffalo and Erie County genealogy and local history research:
- Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society – www.bechs.org
- Buffalo Research – www.buffaloresearch.com
- City of Buffalo Inactive Records Center - http://www.ci.buffalo.ny.us/Home/City_Departments/City_Clerk/RecordsManagement
- City of Buffalo Clerk’s Office - http://www.ci.buffalo.ny.us/Home/City_Departments/City_Clerk/GenealogyRecordsandResources
- Erie County Clerk’s Office - http://www.erie.gov/depts/government/clerk/records.phtml
- Erie County Directory of Public Officials - http://directories.erie.gov/officialdir/ – This includes town clerk’s offices which carry vital and other records.
For general genealogy research trip planning information see: http://experts.archives.com/macentee-thomas/a-trip-to-bountiful-genealogy-research.html .