VOLUME 33, NUMBER 2 THURSDAY, September 6, 2001
ReporterElectronic Highways

Remembrance of Wings Past: Buffalo History Online

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What were the implications of the Holland Land Purchase of 1792? What was nightlife like in some of Buffalo's taverns during the heyday of the Erie Canal? How did the grain elevators work, and why are so few still active? What circumstances prompted two visits to Buffalo by Abraham Lincoln? For anyone who has enjoyed the city's superb celebration of the Pan American Exposition centennial (link to http://www.panam2001.buffalo.edu/ for more on that) and wishes to learn more about the city and region in a larger historical context, here are a few recent sites of interest.

A good starting point for a survey of Buffalo's early history would be Buffalonet http://www.buffalonet.org/. A three-part essay by J. Henry Priebe traces the city from its 1802 village origins to 1850. Special topics, including the history of Buffalo brewing, War Memorial Stadium and the Central Terminal, are covered as sites-within-the-site, offering visual tours of landmarks with enlightening and frequently amusing text. As a not-for-profit organization, Buffalonet seeks volunteers to contribute submissions to its site.

The Buffalonian http://www.buffalonian.com/, brought forth by the People's History Coalition, describes itself as "an ever-growing online local history archive." The site, whose home page visually resembles a newspaper, consists of full-text articles, photographs, diaries and a calendar of upcoming area history events, and is updated weekly. A "history as news" feature of The Buffalonian presents a chronology of events as news stories, in the present tense. The site also offers an email discussion list as a forum for anyone interested in "the geneological, military, industrial, social and political history" of Buffalo, the Niagara region and other areas of Western New York. The archives of the list are searchable online.


Most impressive is Buffalo History Works: History & Culture from the Queen City of the Lakes http://bhw.buffnet.net/. This site is a collection of multimedia essays covering specific topics of interest, some of which include sights and sounds of Buffalo's railroads, the lighthouses of the Erie harbor front, the Erie Canal, the Deco Restaurant franchise and the voices of pioneer radio and television broadcasters. The photograph collection includes more than 80 photos of buildings, street scenes, activities, aerial views and other pictorial evidence of Buffalo in bygone days. The site also offers links to numerous sites relating to this city's fascinating past and enduring legacy.

Nina Cascio and Rick McRae, University Libraries


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