About: Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I

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The New Exhibit

The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is delighted to share with you its second major exhibition - Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I featuring local as well as international WWI materials from the Library’s Rare & Special Collections, as well as memorabilia from a number of local families and Veteran’s organizations.

Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I exhibition, located in the Collections Galley on the upper floor of the downtown Central Library commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States entering what came to be known as “The Great War” - a critical time that left a major legacy in Buffalo, the United States, and the world.

This free public exhibition will explore Buffalo, its people and the region’s contributions to the war effort during a globally turbulent period.  Central to the exhibition is the Library’s extraordinary collection of stunning World War I posters, which were donated in 1919 by prominent Buffalonian Edward Michael.  The collection includes posters from the United States, Canada and Europe, representing some of the finest examples of graphically designed war propaganda encouraging military enlistment and appealing directly to citizens to back the war effort, buy bonds, conserve food and support the Red Cross.  Colorful images on posters were a very effective means to provide information, inspire patriotism, and motivate the public to support WWI.

Also on display is original materials about the sinking of the RMS Lusitania ocean liner, which took the life of Elbert Hubbard, writer and founder of East Aurora’s (NY) Roycroft community; local innovations and industrial mobilization that significantly contributed to both the victory and devastation of this first truly mechanized war; a war diary by local soldier; pamphlets on a variety of wartime topics; the souvenir program of the April 1919 “Welcome to Our Boys” celebration and much more.  Buffalo was very different from the city as we know today, and the stories of sacrifice, honor, glory, and grief unfold in the exhibit.

Special free programming for adults and schools will be offered free throughout the exhibition run of approximately two years. For more details, call the Library at 716-858-8900.

Additionally, the Library sells high quality archival prints from its World War I poster collection through the Online Library Store at:  https://buffalo-erie-county-public-library-online-store.myshopify.com/