= Grosvenor Room of the Buffalo & Erie
= Research Library at
the Buffalo Historical Museum
= Butler Library at Buffalo State College
= Arts & Sciences Libraries at the State
of New York at Buffalo
|| Years Available
|| Where Is It?
||If the company has
traded stock, then it must publish an
65-drawer card file is an
index to newspaper articles
about local companies, industries, manufacturers, nonprofits, commerce,
conditions, labor issues, etc.
local publishers produced various
souvenir and guide books,
promoting the scenery, amenities,
and advantages of Buffalo. These were often advertiser-supported, with
descriptions of local manufacturers and businesses. Several were
published to coincide with the Pan-American Exposition of 1901.
publishers, including the former
Chamber of Commerce, now known
as the Buffalo Niagara
Partnership, issued local
business directories on an irregular
schedule. A business directory might list owners’ names,
locations, and include product illustrations. Online business
directories that include Buffalo are found at the right.
|Libraries Who Own Buffalo Business Directories
Business Directory...New York State, 1869-70
New York State Business Directory and Gazetteer, 1872
||1828 to the
present, with some gaps
1855 to the present, Buffalo city
classified business section
like the modern yellow pages. Tracing a firm year by year in
directories can help establish when it went into and out of business.
In some years, the directories give the names of owners and officers of
business records, including
records, are retained only
for a few years as required by law, then destroyed. But every now and
then, a major firm will give its records to a university, historical
society, or similar repository. This webmaster knows of few to
no employment records for any defunct Buffalo companies.
Records at BHM
||The NYS Department of
Division of Corporations has a
searchable database of corporations, including nonprofit ones.
If you select All
names instead of Active Only,
might find when and where an inactive corporation was formed.
Incorporation papers are filed with County Clerks.
& Business Entity Database
of books, pamphlets, journals, dissertations, studies, etc.
on the name of the business or type of industry. If
find something good and you live too far away to visit the library in
person, print out a record of the item and take it to your local
library so they can place an interlibrary
loan request. Maybe
owning library will lend it out for your use.
newspaper, the Buffalo Gazette,
in 1811 but it presently exists only on microfilm. However,
York Times has digitized
issue from day one (1851) and most of those articles are
for free. They used to pay a lot of attention to
Buffalo. Business First of
Buffalo began publishing in
1984 and often features business
history and has online archives going back to (I think) 1996.
FultonHistory.com has a hit-or-miss collection of 19th century upstate
NY newspapers, including Buffalo, scanned from microfilm. All
are found at the link to the right.
1870, 1880, 1935
census schedules are
arranged by state, then by county, and then by political subdivision
(township, city, etc.). Schedules are available for 1935 for these
industries: advertising agencies,
banking and financial institutions, miscellaneous enterprises, motor
trucking for hire, public warehousing, and radio broadcasting stations.
York State Library
distribution of retail trade in Buffalo, 1935
prior to 1923
of books, journals, pamphlets, studies, government documents, and other
print materials are now online in partial or full text.
Almost everything published in the US before1923 is now in
the public domain. These are the works mostly likely to be viewable in
full text. Try searching the company name at these sites.
Buffalo Full Text has links to over 600
Buffalo-related online books.
invented things that were manufactured here. Try searches on personal
names or machines.
Patent & Trademark Office
indexes are starting to come online. Try searching
of your company in Poole's. If you find a citation, you can
if your local library owns the journal. If not, you can
photocopy of the article through interlibrary
Index, 1815-1899 (abridged)
||1868 to 1990s
diagram every city building
structure in great detail and are superb for studying the physical
characteristics of former factories and industrial sites. Generally published every 10 years,
large atlases were produced
for fire insurance purposes. Local
libraries have hard copy Sanborns only for the City of
Buffalo. The exception is BECPL and UB, which
subscribe to the
Digital Sanborn Maps, which
coverage for all of NY state.
page, Buffalo Business History on
has as many websites
about vintage Buffalo businesses as I have been able to find. Not every
defunct Buffalo business has inspired a webmaster to document it
online. In many cases, no paper trail exists to digitize.
Business History on the Web
of sources should
not be considered exhaustive. It merely reflects what the webmaster has
been able to verify at this time.