The Grosvenor Room at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

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The Grosvenor Room at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

Contact Information[edit | edit source]

Address: 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203

Telephone: (716) 858-8900



Hours of Operation:

Directions/Parking Map:


Description of Collections[edit | edit source]

The Grosvenor Room (pronounced Grove-ner) is the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library’s Special Collections department. Located in the Central Library in downtown Buffalo, NY,  Grosvenor collections include genealogy, local history, and music resources, as well as rare books.

The Grosvenor Room is the premiere genealogical destination in Western New York and holds a wealth of information on all things Buffalo and Erie County. The focus of the collection is on Buffalo and Erie County, however, it includes resources related to other New York counties, states, and foreign countries. The collection is composed of the following resources:

  • 25,000 local history volumes
  • 5,500 genealogies
  • 850+ census microfilms for Erie County, Western New York, and a few other states
  • Local history scrapbooks and vertical files
  • 100s of city directories and phone books
  • The New York State Vital Records Index and a limited collection of local vital records
  • 110 drawer card index, the Local History File, about people, places, and things in Western NY
  • 110+ reels of local church and cemetery records on microfilm
  • 55+ subscriptions to genealogical and local history periodicals
  • 28 local newspapers on microfilm
  • Maps and atlases
  • Military histories and rosters
  • Ethnic research resources, indices to passenger lists, immigrant ships information, English parish records
  • General resources such as how-to books and surname dictionaries
  • Genealogical society collections

Genealogy databases:

Digital collections:

Library catalog:

Services[edit | edit source]

Reference[edit | edit source]

Librarians are always available in the Grosvenor Room to answer questions and assist patrons. Email and telephone reference service is available through our Contact Us service.

Research services provided[edit | edit source]

The Grosvenor Room provides limited staff-performed research services for a fee, including:

  • City/Telephone Directory Lookups – The library has a complete set of Buffalo city directories as well as a large collection for other locations. See our City Directory Guide for a list of our holdings.
  • Death Notices/Obituaries - if the exact death date is known. Request an Obituary Search

Request Research Services[edit | edit source]

To request the Library's research services please view our research fee schedule and contact us.

History[edit | edit source]

The Grosvenor Room takes its name from Mr. Seth Grosvenor, a successful merchant in Buffalo from 1813 to 1815. After the British burned the village of Buffalo in the War of 1812, Grosvenor played a prominent role in helping to rebuild the devastated community. Although Grosvenor took his expert business skills to New York City, at his death in 1857, he bequeathed $40,000 to the City of Buffalo to establish a public reference library. The Grosvenor Library, a predecessor of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, opened its doors to the public in March, 1871. The Grosvenor Room, its namesake, opened its doors in 2003.

History of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library:

Tips for Your Visit[edit | edit source]

Guides[edit | edit source]

There are many guides to the Grosvenor Room's Collections. Some of the most popular guides are listed below. For more choices, see the Grosvenor Room's web page:

Church Records

Cemetery Records

City Directories

Early Genealogy Sources for Buffalo & Erie County

Ethnic and Immigrant Genealogy

Genealogy Resources in the Grosvenor Room

House History


Vital Records