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3D/VR Virtual Exhibits

The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library is proud to provide Virtual Exhibits based on past exhibits and current collections. The Virtual Exhibits provide you with a 3D tour of the interesting materials from our rich collections. Select from one of the collections below and begin exploring.

The Virtual Exhibit tours were generously produced by iTours 360VR, and funded by C-SAAHN.

Four Centuries of Bookbinding: The Jordan Collection

The Jordan Collection

The Jordans, father and son, built an incomparable collection of over one hundred bound items to illustrate the history of bookbinding. Dr. Fred A. Jordan II [1906-1974] and his son Fred A. Jordan III had a passion for significantly-bound rare books. Mr. Jordan III is an esteemed hand bookbinder himself who binds books for institutions with rare book collections. In this exhibit are binding examples from France, Germany, England and the Netherlands and by some noteworthy binders including Sangorski & Sutcliffe, Riviere & Sons, Joseph Zaehnsdorf, Constance Karslake and the Doves Bindery among others. Some of the bindings in the collection are beautiful and representative of the artistry of fine binding while others are important for their historical significance. In addition to leather bindings, there are paper, velvet, embroidered linen and metal-trimmed specimens.

This exhibit opened in February 2023.


Audubon’s Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America: A Great National Work

Audubon's viviparous

The work for which naturalist and painter, John James Audubon is best known, The Birds of America, included 435 ornithological plates and was completed in over 18 years, from 1820 to 1838. The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, another artistically stunning and scientifically significant contribution to our understanding of American natural history is about four-footed mammals. This portfolio of 150 hand-colored lithographic plates took from 1839 to 1849 along with three volumes of text that were not finished until 1854, three years after John James Audubon (1785-1851) passed away. Sons John Woodhouse and Victor Gifford Audubon and friend Rev. John Bachman contributed to and finished the great work. What distinguishes Audubon’s Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America from his Birds of America is that this was the first work of its magnitude to be engraved, printed and colored wholly in the United States, whereas Audubon’s Birds was produced in the United Kingdom.

This exhibit was on display from June 2021 – February 2023


Mark Twain Room

Mark Twain image

This spectacular space features leaves from the original handwritten manuscript - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain which are on display in the center of the room.  The Mark Twain Room is free and open to the public during all regular library hours.  Guided tours are available by appointment by calling 716-858-8900.



B is for Book

B is for Book

From fables and fairytales, ABC and lesson books, to picture books, modern readers and beloved stories, children’s literature has evolved over the centuries to provide delight and inspiring life lessons for countless children. Hundreds of wonderful examples have been a part of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library’s collections since 1896 when the Buffalo Public Library opened one of the first reading rooms designed specifically for children. B is for Book brings to life captivating works of imagination and presents the results of nearly four centuries of children’s book publishing.

This exhibit was on display from September 2020 - December 2023



E is for Erie County: A Bicentennial Celebration

E is for Erie County: A Bicentennial Celebration

On April 2, 1821, New York State officially recognized the county of Erie as a distinct and separate county from Niagara. The Ring of Knowledge exhibit commemorates the bicentennial of Erie County and highlights the history, accomplishments and the people who built our communities.

This exhibit was on display from April 2021 - April 2022.



Buffalo Never Fails: The Queen City and World War I

Buffalo Never Fails:  The Queen City and World War I

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I (WWI) in 1917, Buffalo Never Fails looks back to a critical time in our nation’s history, emphasizing Buffalo’s role in the war and the related consequences. This exhibition honors stories of individual heroism and describes sacrifices both on the battlefields and here at home.  An extraordinary collection of WWI posters and other items from the Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections, as well as artifacts on loan from other institutions and collectors, help illustrate the “War to End All Wars.”

This exhibition was displayed from November 2018 - March 2020.



Telling the Story: Enslavement of African People in the United States

Telling the Story: Enslavement of African People in the United States

As Frederick Douglass so aptly put it, “Slavery is the great test question of our age and nation.” In many ways it still is, as our country is still dealing with the repercussions of the systematic and institutional enslavement of Africans. This Rare Book Room exhibit seeks to highlight its History of Slavery Collection and, perhaps more ambitiously, to provoke constructive dialog about our country’s history of enslavement and its continuing aftermath.

This exhibition was displayed from April 2019 - June 2021.


The Rubaiyat

Rubai image

The Persian Poem that Became a Sensation in English Translation.

Omar Khayyám’s Rubáiyát is a translation that once compared with the Bible for its popularity and familiarity. It was the most popular poem in the English language. Edward FitzGerald’s first edition translation of the Rubáiyát by Omar Khayyám was published anonymously in 1859.

This exhibition was displayed from April 2018 – April 2019.


Building Buffalo

Building Buffalo Logo

The rich collections of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library hold many of the most important books written across the centuries about architecture and landscape design. Collected strategically as critical resources for local architects, these books essentially built Buffalo -- part of its cultural heritage that inspired design imagination and the variety of built styles that make Buffalo the beautiful, special city we treasure today.

This exhibition was displayed from March 2017 – March 2018.