The Library Cat Saga


In 1935, a  little black cat named Rosita found a home at the original Grosvenor Library, our predecessor and namesake.  We learned of this story while searching through the newspaper scrapbooks that were meticulously compiled by library staff over the years.  The Grosvenor Library was a public reference library that existed from 1871 to 1963, with extensive collections in American history and genealogy.  It was located at 383 Franklin at the corner of Edward, and later annexed the Cyclorama building.

The newspapers at the time regaled readers with witty stories on the “library cat” and even reported on her disappearance, happy return, and birth of kittens aptly named Cataloga, Medicala, Orderina, Perioda, and Referentia!


Margaret Richmond Fess, a Buffalo newspaperwoman, related the cat saga in the context of the Great Depression in her book, The Grosvenor Library and it’s Times:

During these dark and troubled times, the press snatched eagerly at any news which touched the lighter side of life. Rosslyn, alias Rosita, alias Blackie, the Grosvenor Library’s classical cat, received more space in the local papers in 1935 and 1936 than the most valuable gifts to the institution.

Source: Grosvenor Library Scrapbook, Vol. 6, unpaged. Buffalo Collection *Z733.B92 G8

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