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All the articles here are archived. Please check the Libraries News Center for the latest information on the Libraries.

Archive for the ‘Archives’ Category

Student Life Research

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“These records should not only preserve the story of growth… They should also capture something of the color of the changing human procession that winds its way down through the endless reach of time…”

— Samuel P. Capen, Foreword to the IRIS yearbook, 1927


The core mission of University Archives is to collect and maintain historical records of the university.  Documents regarding student life are some of the richest and most insightful resources in the University Archives’ holdings.  Some of our records regarding student activities, events, clubs, and publications are listed below:

Finding and using materials in the Archives is different from the general library collections.  Helpful research tips:

**DONATIONS WANTED!  The University Archives is always looking for additional material to add to our collection.  To donate materials (scrapbooks, photographs, diaries, memorabilia, etc.) relating to student life at UB, contact the Archives at or (716) 645-2916.


Campus Lingo, 1956

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Source: 1956-57 Student Handbook, from Handbooks and Manuals, collection number 3/0/00-7.

Faculty 45, March 15, 1970

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One of the most sought out facets of University history is campus unrest and the events of Spring 1970.  March 15 marks the 45th anniversary of the “Faculty 45” incident.  On that day, 45 faculty members were arrested after holding a sit-in in Acting President Peter Regan’s office to protest presence of Buffalo police on campus.

Diefendorf Annex, September 1970

Diefendorf Annex, September 1970

University Archives has several items regarding the “Faculty 45” and campus unrest including:

  • 45 rpm record of “Hayes Hall Blues.”  This song was written about the faculty 45 by Charlie Keil and Michael Frisch in order to raise legal defense funds.
  • Trial transcript and other legal documents.
  • Notes and clippings
  • Flyers
  • Tear gas canister, buttons, strike flags, and banners

Interested in more resources?

Campus Unrest collections in University Archives

Flashback: Campus Unrest at UB by the UB Reporter

Timeline of Campus Unrest at UB

Historical Film Collection Digitization

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Far in the stacks of University Archives is a cache of over 600 films relating to the history of the university, its programs, facilities, and student life. Because of preservation concerns, much of the collection has not been viewed in almost two decades.  This winter, Archives embarked on a pilot project to have three films digitized not only for preservation, but most importantly, to provide access to these little seen treasures.


Still from film of 1964 Spring Weekend festivities

Choosing which films to digitize was a challenging process, complicated by the thin documentation available for most of the films.  The majority have brief label titles on the film cans, such as “Perspectives,” “Untitled,” or even “Camp film, misc. outtakes, and junk”!  Questionable label titles, along with the degradation expected of 50+ year old magnetic film, can make the digitization process a matter of faith.  About half of the films have no labeled date, but of those that do, the earliest is from the 1930s and titled “Campus Scenes.”  This film, along with one recording the events of the 1963-1964 Moving Up Day/Spring Weekend activities, and a circa 1964 film of the reactor on South Campus (recently decommissioned) were digitized.  All three are black and white, silent, 16 mm films.

Although just shy of two and half minutes, “Scenes of Main Street campus and downtown buildings” offers a glimpse of Hayes Hall and its surrounds, students, and the Medical School building at Washington and High streets.  Samuel Capen himself even makes an appearance.  “1963-1964 Spring Weekend (Moving Up Day)” is the longest film at 8 minutes.  It includes the Moving Up Day fashion Show, voting for Spring Weekend Queen (and winner, Mary Lou Thompson), float construction and parade (including a fire breathing dragon, Don Quixote, and the Garden of Eden), and a concert featuring the Serendipity Singers.  For the curious, the third film shows interior views of the Western New York Nuclear Research Center just a few years after it began operating.

Digitizing film for use, accessibility, and preservation is an expensive undertaking, and University Archives welcomes alumni and community support in partnering in this worthy effort to save, protect, and share university history.  Donations can be made online and are integral in our ability to continue and expand this project.

Digitized films are part of the University Libraries Digital Collections and can be viewed here:


From the Stacks: 1915 Map of the City of Buffalo

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Map of the City of Buffalo, 1915

by Joseph Patton, DLIS graduate student

Today cruise ships have become synonymous with the Caribbean and other tropical locales, but during the 19th and early 20th centuries Great Lakes passenger steamers cruised the waves delivering tourists to cities like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, and even Buffalo. The Great Lakes were a major source of tourism and travel during this period and the cities surrounding the lakes prospered because of it. Some ferry lines still remain, but the heyday period has passed. However, evidence of this era can still be found in many of the cities and in the ephemera produced as a result.

Fenton Parke was a graduate of the University who became a much respected member of the Buffalo and Western New York Community. The Fenton Parke papers, held by the University Archives here at the University at Buffalo, contain documents and correspondence as well as many items collected by Parke during his life. One such item found within this collection is a map of the City of Buffalo from 1915.

Created by Buffalo Electrotype Works, a smaller company in the city, this map was provided to passengers aboard steamers visiting Buffalo. In addition to providing a wonderful snapshot of the city in 1915, the item itself is a fabulous example of the style and design utilized by printers and engravers during the era. The map specifically emphasizes locations like parks for tourists to visit as well the streetcar and rail lines should they be needed. Interestingly enough, the map also identifies the individual tax districts of the city at that time. Of particular note though is shaded area located around D-11 in the map grid which reads Site for the University of Buffalo. Known today as the University’s South Campus, this space was still yet to be utilized in 1915 and was home instead to the Erie County Almshouse.

This is the first post in a new blog series. “From the Stacks” highlights unique, little-known documents and artifacts uncovered by the staff and student assistants who work with the rich historical collections of the University Archives.