“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” –Neil Gaiman
In my day job, I’m a librarian, but BuffaloResearch.com is an entirely independent, volunteer, on-my-own-time, on-my-own-dime hobby. All opinions, errors, and omissions are my own.
What I do here is pretty simple: find stuff that other people put online that supports Buffalo, NY local history, architectural, and genealogical research. Then I organize the links and explain them. I have no old stuff of my own to share: no maps, no city directories, no vital records, etc. Though I did buy the postcard at the top of this page just so I could scan and use it at this site.
My geographic scope is primarily the City of Buffalo and secondarily the County of Erie. I also opinionate every now and then at the blog side of the site.
BuffaloResearch.com started out as Roots at Buffalo Free-Net in December 1993 and has been continuously online ever since. Roots was one of the first genealogy websites in the world. As far as I know, it is second only to Rootsweb, also founded in 1993. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you are looking at Buffalo’s oldest surviving website of any kind.
Back then, if you wanted to start what we now call a website, you had to mail in a paper request. Here’s the original application form for a Special Interest Group (SIG) called Roots, submitted by founder Richard Prem, and the date Jim Gerland approved it. Free-Net itself was only two months old at the time.
Back then, I didn’t have a graphical browser or the ability to save screenshots or edit image files. I had to print out the home page to save a copy of it.
At the invitation of Richard Prem, I came on board in 1996 and took over Roots. After one HTML class, I began writing code by hand and have been been a self-taught webmaster ever since, which is probably obvious, given the primitive design of this site.