Programs

You Should Write a Book!

SoYouWantToWriteABook

How many times have your friends said, “You should write a book!”? Would you like to write a memoir or do you have expertise in one unique thing that no one else has written much about? Are you overwhelmed by your term paper, thesis, or dissertation? Or have you finished researching your family history and want to share it with the community? Perhaps your employer wants a souvenir book about its history to present to VIPs.  Is your neighborhood or house of worship’s history missing from the library’s bookshelves? Or you’ve already published some essays or you had a blog and you want to collect your best work in a single volume.

If you are contemplating a book project, getting published is easier than ever.  The bewildering variety of options include self-publishing, online publishing, and traditional commercial publishing. And there is much more to finishing your project than choosing your words, sentences, and paragraphs.

The Buffalo History Museum is pleased to offer a 4-part workshop series on navigating the nonfiction publishing process called So You Want to Write a Book? On all four Saturday mornings in February 2018, we will tackle critical questions on copyright and intellectual property, citing your sources, overcoming roadblocks, and finding a publisher or self-publishing.

Aspiring authors can sign up for the full series or pick and choose which sessions to attend.  All sessions will be held in the auditorium of The Buffalo History Museum at 1 Museum Court, corner of Elmwood and Nottingham Terrace.  Parking is free in our lot, plus we are on the #20 bus line.

The schedule is:

  • Week One: February 3, 2018, 10 am – 12 pm 

Copyrights and Copywrongs

Nonfiction writing 101; how to make sure your research is legal; understanding permissions and intellectual property. Featured speakers are Cynthia Van Ness, Daniel DiLandro, and Stephanie “Cole” Adams


  • Week Two: February 10, 2018, 10 am – 12 pm

Give Me Proof

Citing your sources, using footnotes or end notes, compiling bibliographies and indexes; establishing your authority, and crediting those whose work you relied on. Featured speakers are Cynthia Van Ness, Daniel DiLandro. Frank Kowsky, and WNY Indexers.


  • Week Three: February 17, 2018, 10 am – 12 pm

Roadblock Day

How to get unstuck, featuring a Q&A panel of local authors who have been in your shoes: Rosanne Higgins, Tom Reigstad, Shane Stephenson


  • Week Four: February 24, 2018, 10 am – 12 pm

Meet the Publishers

You finished your book, now what?  Meet with local publishers and distributors and discuss book layout, marketing, and social media. Featured speakers are Brian Meyer of Western New York Wares and Marti Gorman of Buffalo Heritage Unlimited.


  • Member rate for entire series: $30
  • Member rate for individual sessions: $10
  • General public rate for entire series: $50
  • General public rate for individual sessions: $20

To register online, go to:

www.buffalohistory.org/Visit/Calendar.aspx

Click on February.  Then click on any of the workshops and scroll to bottom.  

Questions? Call 716-873-9644 x320 or email mmacneill@buffalohistory.org

Education & Educators at The Buffalo History Museum

Hello!  My name is Doreen Dell and I am the education assistant at The Buffalo History Museum. As teacher for 50 years, my position at the Museum perfectly aligns with my passion and expertise as an educator and history lover. Additionally, I get to work with teachers and students all over Western New York, a privilege I have always enjoyed. I’m excited about this coming October and looking forward to meeting educators who are not only seeking to share Western New York history with their students, but to share ideas with Museum staff and colleagues. Through our new after-school event, Teachers’ Night Out, we hope to help teachers unwind from a day of teaching and socialize over the Museum’s offerings.

Mark your calendar: Teachers’ Night Out will be held on Wednesday, October 12 from 4 – 6 pm at The Buffalo History Museum.

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Buffalo Bliss photo studio located in the Street of Shops

Teachers will have multiple opportunities to learn about the resources available while exchanging ideas with other teachers. Featured are tours on varied topics that will suit a number of lesson plans: We have World War I posters, Paper Bullets: The Posters That Sold the Warin our State Court. You can see Inside Tim Russert’s Office: If it’s Sunday, it’s “Meet the Press” exhibit. The John R. Oishei Native American Gallery exhibit features the history of the Haudenosaunee. In The John R. Oishei Pioneer Gallery, you can learn about Buffalo Creek from 1806 to the burning of Buffalo. The Neighbors exhibit highlights those who came to Buffalo and made the city what it is today. In the Victorian Street of Shops, early businesses are featured on a cobble stone lane. The Bliss photo studio is popular with youngsters and funsters who like to dress up and take selfies for social media sharing. thumb_img_2507_1024My personal favorites are the newly developed history kits, proven to be an effective teaching tool that students will love; the Native American Kit and the Pioneer Kit have artifacts, reproductions, mini posters and an activity book and are available to rent for your classroom. These kits have been met with rave reviews. You will also have the opportunity to try your luck at identifying an artifact from the early 1800s as you examine our Artifact Detective Program that can be presented at your school.

In addition to the program tours and learning tools to explore, our research library will be open so that you can learn how to obtain primary source materials.

Other participating cultural organizations include: The Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, Steel Plant Museum of Western New York, Old Fort Niagara, and the Niagara Frontier Council for the Social Studies.

Did I mention there will be prizes and a happy hour? One of my favorite parts of my job is working with teachers to integrate our resources into their programs. Drop in for a minute or stay as long as we’re open; I look forward to meeting you and your classroom needs.

Greetings from the Program & Engagement Coordinator

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Megan MacNeill, Program & Engagement Coordinator with actor Josh Gad, who came to visit the museum while in Buffalo filming.

Hello! My name is Megan, you may have seen me here at The Buffalo History Museum, running programs, crafts, and activities! As Program and Engagement Coordinator, I am tasked with creating and running lectures, our ever-popular Train Day, and many other events throughout the year. While I am not a native Buffalonian, I have come to love my new city, and all the history and experiences that it has offered me.

I have been in my position here for a year and a half, and it has flown by! Previously, I lived, studied, and worked in Philadelphia, PA. I went to graduate school and received my MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design. Before I came to Buffalo, I had worked in nine different museums and many different disciplines; from horse racing and dance, to outsider art and the history of chemistry. Regardless of the museum, the amazing stories are what keeps me passionate about my work (and an ever-hopeful Jeopardy! candidate). For instance, the first synthetic dye was developed on accident by a man named William Henry Perkin. When he created that bright mauve color, he was hoping for a synthetic quinine to help treat malaria. My favorite stories here are the not-so-apparent ones. The hidden fossils in the floor of the State Court, the tiny “make-due” piece of a blue star in a quilt, and the symbolism in our WWI propaganda posters.

My love for museums, like many of my peers and colleagues, came from an early age. When I was little my family would take yearly trips to Washington, D.C. My sister and I would drag my parents to the same exhibit, the gemstone room at the National Museum of Natural History. We were fascinated by the colors and sizes, and of course, the Hope Diamond.hopediamond(courtesy of SI) I am incredibly fortunate; every vacation we took as a family featured at least one day-trip to a museum or historic site. Though my parent’s ploy to make us learn may have worked too well, my dad almost kicked my sister and I out of the van on a trip home from Cape Cod because we so desperately and relentlessly were asking to visit the Sandwich Glass Museum again. Luckily we stopped for a visit. What sticks with me just as much as the stories and facts that I’ve learned, is the time spent with loved ones. I feel that museums have a dynamic way of opening us up to learning and also to being in the moment and connecting with each other. This is why I love what I do. Providing our guests with the opportunity to engage not only with our objects and exhibits, but with each other.
So please come viCyanotypeinProgresssit us! Every Third Friday I run hands-on activities in our State Court. They are free and accessible to all ages. In June, we made solar prints. Harkening back to my days as a photography major, we placed found objects on light-sensitive paper, and created our own cyanotypes.

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This summer I will be representing the museum down at Canalside as well! Come see some great old views of the historic canal district (sourced from our library of course) and learn about the history of the Erie Canal! Mondays 12-4, Wednesdays 11-3.

Letter from the Executive Director

Melissa2traditions, family, friends, warmth, summer. . . celebrations!

Greetings!

Newsletter15_CoverThe costumed people on the cover and the theme of this edition of “The Album,” prompts me to share a favorite summer memory and a sentiment about the Museum’s celebrations…

On the third Sunday of July, the Ganshaw and Koeppen families, my maternal ancestors, convene. The reunion dates back to just before I was born and has always been a steadfast summer tradition.

At one o’clock the folding chairs emerge under the old tree canopy. Requisite sacred beer steins, a choice dish-to-pass, family dessert specialties, and fun door prizes are the order of the day. Adding to the processional-like set up, my grandmother and her eleven siblings would gather costumes to don before dinner. The Aunts and Uncles slipped on and into oversized old hats and miss-matched garments, patriotic sashes, loud ties, and character costumes of the day (yep, a Big Bird get-up and the like did not push boundaries of flamboyancy). Grilled marinade chicken cooked over old half-barrel charcoal pits made our mouths water as this colorful feast of family fun – all made sacred-in-tradition by the clipped cadence of Great-Uncle Bill’s German blessing – wafts in warm summer memories of my youth.

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Now in its 11th year, Party on the Portico has come to brand the same delightful recall of tradition and idyllic summer gatherings on the steps and grounds of the Museum’s portico (minus the zany costumes).  Or, as we like to say, our sensational porch party!  Each summer, at each of the three portico parties, we greet a reunion of our history Museum “family” members, friends and new faces (soon to be familiar) to celebrate al fresco the people, their stories, the gorgeous views, the music, and, of course, the glorious Museum. 

FoodTruckRodeo_AllDates_SqWith the Food Truck Rodeo in its 4th season, the first Wednesday in June, July, August, and September, we’ve enjoyed regular visits from families who claim their own special tree to spread a blanket and sup outdoors on the Museum grounds while taking in the nature, music and sunshine. Friends and families also take advantage of free admission and kid-friendly activities offered.

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The Antique and Classic Car show offers the same convivial annual summertime treat for all who love gleaming motorized works of art on display the first Sunday in August. 

With all the wonderful gatherings happening not only at the Museum, but everywhere in town, I hope you choose to embrace our family and share in some of the tradition…the history…the celebration! 

We’d love to see you. 

Melissa

Secrets from the stacks: Erie County Penitentiary Prisoner Identification Cards

The “Secrets from the Stacks” is a program that is offered only a few times a year to spotlight items the Research Library does not typically get to show off. The program being held on June 6, 2015 will feature the Erie County Penitentiary prisoner identification cards (Mss. B85-6). The collection dates from 1896 to 1914, with the bulk of the photographs being from 1899 to 1905. This collection was donated to the Research Library by the Erie County Correctional Facility (Wende) in 1986 and just recently has been arranged, indexed and cataloged, making it accessible to interested researchers with a Scholar Pass.

Antwater Back WatermarkThe identification cards used by the Erie County Penitentiary are the precursor to modern day finger printing. The cards mimic the Bertillon system in order to identify repeat offenders by their physical features and dimensions, such as their head length, length of middle finger and the length of their foot. The cards also contain the offender’s name, aliases, age, nativity, occupation, charges and sentencing information. These cards were then arranged by a unique system and referenced upon their re-arrest. The Research Library greatly appreciated the donation due to the collections valuable genealogical, sociological, criminology and anthropological research potential.

The program will feature many of the identification cards for the attendees to view, along with photographs of the Erie County Penitentiary to help place the collection within context and other true crime resources. The program will run from 10 am to 12 pm on June 6, 2015. The completed index is available online, by going to http://tinyurl.com/TBHM-prisoners.

Amy Miller
Assistant Librarian & Archivist

How to Make Your Own Turkey Magnet While Exploring History

Here at The Buffalo History Museum we want to engage all of our visitors. Creating hands-on activities and crafts is a wonderful way to show young minds that our museum is more than a place with exhibits on view, museums are places to explore! These turkeys are simple to make and a great way to be creative on Thanksgiving! Fun for the whole family!

You will need:

• Colored Paper • Scissors • A clothespin • Glue • Feathers or other decorations (Let your turkey be fancy!) • A magnet

Instructions:

TurkeyCraft

1. Trace your hands cut them out, glue to the back of a clothespin.

2. While the glue dries, cut out a small circle for the face. Draw your turkey’s features or use googly eyes. IMG_3345

3. Glue the face to the top of the clothespin.

4. If you have one, stick the magnet strip to the back of your clothespin.

5. Decorate the front of your turkey!

6. When everything is dry, hang it on your fridge to admire.

IMG_3346**Fun Fact: Did you know? The biggest farm turkey ever weighed over 86 pounds, according the Guinness Book of World Records. His name was Tyson.

Share your turkey magnets with us! Find us on: Facebook, Twitter (@BuffaloHistory) or Instagram (@buffalohistorymuseum) Use the #TBHMTURKEY   -Megan MacNeill Program & Engagement Coordinator

Affordable Summer Fun

SummerPassFlyerAs a twenty-something professional, looking for something to do after work – something cost effective, interesting, and fun – with so much going on in WNY, can be quite a hunt. That’s why I am so excited to share the news about the great deal that the Summer Season Pass offers.

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Party on the Portico featuring the Informers, July 2013

The Buffalo History Museum has partnered with Preservation Buffalo Niagara this summer to offer a joint membership for the 2014 June, July and August months, for only twenty dollars!

All membership perks are honored by The Museum and PBN: free exhibits, discounted Party on the Portico happy hour series (only $5!), free educational programming, and much more.

All told, the Buffalover will fall even deeper in love with the city after taking advantage of this great deal. Check it out, give me a call and I’ll sign you up: 873 -9644 ext 318; or, register online.

Hope to see you on the Portico … or maybe at a lecture … or maybe on a tour!

Alexis Greinert
Donor Relations and Membership Coordinator 

Think Cherry Blossoms!

The Buffalo History Museum in Cherry Blossoms
The Buffalo History Museum and
Cherry Blossoms

The Japanese Gardens of Buffalo were originally conceived in 1970 with construction being complete in 1972. The purpose was to create a place of beauty and tranquility as well as commemorate the sister city relationship between Buffalo, New York and Kanazawa, Japan. Based on a famous garden in Kanazawa, Japan the Japanese Gardens of Buffalo are located in the Fredrick Law Olmsted Parkway system on the banks of Mirror Lake behind The Buffalo History Museum. The Gardens feature three islands, Japanese garden lanterns, pagodas, and a pathway with rustic stone steps imported from Japan. It is considered a horticultural masterpiece with over one thousand plants, including fifty flowering Cherry Blossom trees and an extensive Hosta collection, donated by the Hosta Society of Western New York. There is also a collection of Japanese Maple and Evergreen trees.

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The first ever Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival will be held from April 23 to May 4, 2014 in and around the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park, Buffalo, New York.

The Buffalo History Museum is thrilled to be among the several local cultural organizations that will assist in executing interpretive programming for visitors of all ages and walks of life.

  • An academic lecture and book signing with Dr. Francis Kowsky who will speak about his publication, ” The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System. That takes place on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
  • A traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony that will take place at The Buffalo History Museum on Wednesday April 23, 2014. Visitors will have the opportunity to observe the ancient Ceremony lead by Atsuko Nishida-Mitchell.
  • On Saturday, April 26 with a lecture and booking signing by Washington D.C. based author Ann McClellan. McClellan will speak about her book, “The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration.” The lecture will discuss the long standing and famous Cherry Blossom Festival of the nation’s capital and draw parallels to Buffalo’s inaugural celebration.
  • Activities will take place in the Japanese Gardens throughout the entire Festival including Japanese kite making, games, dancers, musicians, puppeteers, and dancers.
  • CherryBlossomDay On Sunday, May 4, Cherry Blossom Family Day features artifact scavenger hunts, museum tours, live performers and lots more!

Tara Lyons,
Program Manager