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Buffalo’s first printed books find new home in UB Libraries

A guidebook of Niagara Falls from the Eugene Musial Buffalo Imprint Collection.

Some selections from the Eugene Musial Buffalo Imprint Collection, now housed in the UB Libraries. Photos: Douglas Levere

By MARCENE ROBINSON

Published August 18, 2017

“The historic Musial Collection affords the UB Libraries Rare and Special Books Collection an opportunity to celebrate Buffalo’s renaissance by preserving Buffalo’s printing and publishing history.”
Mike Basinski, director
Special Collections

The University Libraries have acquired the Eugene Musial Buffalo Imprint Collection, a unique piece of Buffalo publishing history that includes the first book printed in Buffalo in 1812.

The impossible-to-duplicate collection, purchased by the UB Rare and Special Books Collection, includes more than 300 titles printed and published in Buffalo in the 19th century. The works were acquired throughout the lifetime of historical collector and bookstore owner Eugene Musial.

The materials will add to the UB Libraries’ commitment to research and intellectual development, and to promote and preserve the history of Western New York.

“Acquiring the Musial Collection allows the University Libraries to provide our students and faculty access to Buffalo’s rich 19th-century history,” says Michael Basinski, director of UB Special Collections.

“The historic Musial Collection affords the UB Libraries Rare and Special Books Collection an opportunity to celebrate Buffalo’s renaissance by preserving Buffalo’s printing and publishing history.”

Highlights from the collection include the first book printed in Buffalo in 1812, the first directory of the village of Buffalo from 1828, the first Buffalo city directory from 1832, and an assortment of guide books of Niagara Falls from the 1830s and 1840s. Other materials include religious hymns, government documents and maps.

The Eugene Musial Buffalo Imprint Collection will be digitized and made available online for public viewing. Its acquisition was made possible through the generosity of William S. Hein & Co. Inc., the B.H. Breslauer Foundation and individual donors.