The Archives & Special Collection Department of SUNY Buffalo State was established in 1975 and houses a growing vibrant collection of primary and secondary source materials available to faculty, students, and the public. Our collections include various college publications, scrapbooks, speeches, memorabilia, photographs, college annual reports, budgets, and statistics starting in 1860 and stretching to the present.
Dr. William H. Tallmadge (1916-2004), Professor of Music and charter member of the Sonneck Society (now the Society for American Music). Dr. Tallmadge taught music at Buffalo State College from 1949-1976, specializing in jazz and American folk music. Indeed, he developed the first course for credit in the United States on the history of jazz. Dr. Tallmadge's work is especially notable for the attention he paid to recording and studying African American church music of the early 20th century, though it is believed that none of these recordings are maintained within this collection. Dr. Tallmadge continued to teach at Berea College after his retirement from Buffalo State College.
The Lit-Mus - short for "Literary" and "Music" -- Study Club is an on-going African American women's study group that originated in Buffalo in 1922. It was founded by Florence Jackson Lee, Amelia Anderson and Ora Lewis Anderson in the hopes of fulfilling its mission to study topics in the arts, humanities and social sciences that would enable the club's women to improve their community. It became part of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs as well as an affiliate of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. The Lit-Mus Study Club collection houses historical information, activities, correspondence, ephemera, printed material, subject files, and records of the organization from its founding in the 1920s (bulk, 1930s-1980s).
The George Borrelli Political Newspaper Clippings and Materials [1962-2003] contains his extensive collection of original clippings derive from his often daily columns (the bulk of which were written by the donor for the Buffalo News) and present, for many years, a day-by-day examination of the Buffalo and Niagara Region, New York, political scene.
The collection contains not only the originals manuscripts, both longhand and typescript, of several of her books, but also, in many instances, includes her notes, original sketches, and correspondence showing the inception of ideas, it is extremely valuable as resource materials for in-depth studies of how a recognized author created the books which have won her the top awards in the field of children’s literature. By examining the notebooks and correspondence, students can become aware of Lenski’s methods of research in obtaining the materials she needed when writing her books. Lenski’s approach to environmental background of her regional stories, as illustrated in her correspondence with children and concerned adults, is a technique unique to Lenski, and one which should be of special value to individuals interested in the writing of regional realistic fiction. Numerous boxes and folders contain copies of her books, photos, manuscripts, notes, drawings, awards, and work of students whom inspired Lois Lenski to write and publish.
Corporate records and publications from the Studio Arena Theatre (c. 1920-2008) in Buffalo, NY. Drama periodicals; ephemera; fundraising materials, including “Take a Seat”; newsletters; photographs; playbills; posters; production reports; publicity materials; reviews; scripts; slides and negatives; and VHS/CD.
The Edward H. Butler Family played a prominent role in the development of the Niagara Frontier for nearly 100 years (1880 - 1976). Edward H. Butler, Senior published the first edition the Buffalo Evening News on October 11, 1880. Upon his death in 1914, his son, Edward, assumed the role of editor and publisher of the paper. At his death in 1956, his widow, Kate Robinson Butler ran the paper. Shortly after her death in 1975, the paper was sold to Blue Chips Stamps. Buffalo State College has enjoyed a long relationship with the Butler family. Three generations of members of the Butler Family served as Presidents of the College Council. E. H. Butler Library was named after Edward H. Butler, Senior. Collection includes personal correspondence; photographs; business records; financial statements; business files and personnel for the Buffalo Evening News; editorials; news clippings, and some miscellaneous ephemera.
Mr. Yates’ appointment as Chair of the Music Department at Buffalo State College in 1968 met with many “raised eyebrows,” due to his lack of experience in higher education teaching and administration. He was, after all, an interviewer with the California Employment Service for most of his pre-Buffalo years. Additionally, he had earned only minimal academic qualifications, a BA degree from Princeton. However, having served as associate editor of Arts and Architecture, 1940-1967, as a contributing editor to Arts in Society, as well as author of two well-received books -- An Amateur at the Keyboard (1964) and Twentieth Century Music (1967) plus his long and unparalleled association with many of the most important contemporary European and American composers, the usual and traditional resume expectations were overlooked in lieu of this newer and richer experience. During their years in Western New York, Peter and Frances participated actively in the musical life of Buffalo. With the Albright Knox Art Gallery directly across the street, hosting the infamous Evenings for New Music, 1964-1980, which might be said to have found its predecessor in Yates’ Evenings on the Roof, Peter felt right at home in Buffalo. At the larger SUNY university center, SUNY at Buffalo, Peter hosted a weekly series of music programs on WBFO-FM, the local public radio station. He successfully brought Lou Harrison, the then-controversial American composer, to the Albright Knox for a stunning evening of talk and music. He continued to lecture as professor in the music department after retiring from the chairmanship. He passed away from a heart attack in Buffalo, in 1976.
Buffalo native George K. Arthur has been active on the local political scene for nearly half a century. Notably, he served on the Erie County Board of Supervisors from 1964-1967, as Ellicott District Councilman from 1970-1978, and then as Councilman-at-Large in 1978, eventually serving as Common Council President from 1984 until his retirement in 1996. Along the way, he ran for mayor in 1985 as the unendorsed Democratic candidate, narrowly losing to incumbent Jimmy Griffin. In 2010, he served as Secretary of the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority. The collection contains a wealth of information concerning politics in the Buffalo and Western New York region.
The Society of Women Geographers Collection contains five issues of SWG-produced histories, programs and bulletins. The Vignettes includes biographical sketches of 26 early (pre-1940) members of the SWG; and the Bulletins contain historical information, contemporary activities and committees' reports as well as membership lists and information. All material dates from 1975-1980. Note: Mentions of Dr. Whittemore are highlighted in the inventory; and additional data, interviews and reminiscences of hers are available in the Archives' administrative and biographical files.
The Courier-Express newspaper was born in 1926, with the merger of the Buffalo Courier and the Buffalo Express to form the Buffalo Courier-Express. William J. Conners, owner of the Buffalo Courier, was the person instrumental in bringing the two papers together. During the 19th century numerous newspapers existed. The Buffalo Courier-Express merger can trace its roots back to 1828. From 1828 to 1926, twelve separate newspapers merged during those years, ending with the formation of the Buffalo Courier-Express; quite a chronology for the history of this newspaper. The Courier and then the Courier-Express took a liberal position on all issues. In the late 1970s, the Courier-Express was sold to Cowles-Media, an out of state publisher. Cowles Media decided to close the paper in 1982. The September 19, 1982 issue was the last one for this very popular Buffalo newspaper. Cowles Media donated the library to the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and Buffalo State College.