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Press Release


By June 30, 2022March 27th, 2023No Comments

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Museum of Science (BMS) is preparing to salvage 2,000 historical images thanks to funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). By digitizing the nitrate negatives, the BMS will secure their content and transform a currently unstable and inaccessible collection of images into an available resource for research, publication, exhibition, and programming.

The collection documents the early 20th century through photography, with a wide array of significant subject matter including the history of Buffalo, the history of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences (BSNS) and the BMS, photographic history of Western New York, and the history of general science, natural and physical life, and culture, locally and worldwide.

Duplication and digitization of this dormant collection of images and their addition to a digital portal will generate free and public access, giving them widespread availability. This has the potential to benefit both the public and the Museum in a number of ways and will bring attention to the important holdings of the Museum’s vast photographic, library, and research collections, reminding the public that these resources are available for them to use.

The grant to the BMS is one of 245 humanities projects across the country to collectively receive $33.17 million from the NEH in grants announced in April 2022.

“NEH is proud to support these exemplary education, media, preservation, research, and infrastructure projects,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “These 245 projects will expand the horizons of our knowledge of culture and history, lift up humanities organizations working to preserve and tell the stories of local and global communities, and bring high-quality public programs and educational resources directly to the American public.”

The BMS’s two-year project titled Hidden Views: Salvaging Historic Images at the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences (PW-284976) is anticipated to begin in summer 2022 with an expected completion of June 2024.



Rooted in the belief that science creates opportunities and shapes our world, the Buffalo Museum of Science is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to providing relevant science programming to learners of all ages in the Buffalo Niagara region. Through interactive science studios and exhibits designed for multi-generational learning, the Museum showcases its extensive collection of more than 700,000 specimens and artifacts representing all facets of the natural world with an emphasis on Western New York. With a focus on raising the science literacy in the Buffalo Niagara area and beyond, the Museum offers hands-on workshops, camps, panel discussions, guided tours and enhance learning opportunities for its guests and community. Opened in 1929 in Buffalo’s Olmsted-designed Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, the Museum recently installed its eighth interactive science studio marking the completion of the Museum’s 9-year-long transformation of its guest experience. The Buffalo Museum of Science is governed by the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences alongside Tifft Nature Preserve in South Buffalo, a 264-acre urban wetland preserve on reclaimed former industrial land. Learn more at www.sciencebuff.org.


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.