The Buffalo East Side History Project

“We seek to know the past, so that we can understand the present, and then use this knowledge as a springboard to building equitable neighborhoods, which are embedded in Just Metropolitan Cities”

Henry-Louis Taylor, Jr.

The Buffalo East Side History Project is a collaboration between the UB Center for Urban Studies and the Buffalo State Butler Library Archives and Special Collections and Monroe Fordham Regional History Center. The East Side History Project is an open-access digital commons that provides community residents, urban planners, community activists, policy-makers and others with digitized collections on Buffalo’s East Side and the metropolitan region.

The Project is based on the premise that history is a time and space continuum that moves seamlessly from the past into the present and future. In this modeling, history is conceived as a dynamic, interactive process that can be used to understand how the past gave birth to the future, and then project possible scenarios that can be realized in the uncreated future.

This perspective means that urban planners, scholars, practitioners, and community activists can become “time travelers,” with the capacity to use their understanding of the interplay between the past and present to develop prefigured scenarios designed to solve urgent socioeconomic problems, which will lead to a better, more just, and sustainable future.

In this model, historical analysis thus becomes a tool that urban planners, practitioners, community activists, and residents can use to recreate underdeveloped and unhealthy into prosperous and healthy and sustainable communities.

This method to the study of the past/present create that not only allows us to view another, very different, but possible world, but also shows us how we can construct that prefigured world, right here, right now.

The Buffalo East Side History Project is a digital archive that contains a range of documents, photographs, maps, studies, papers, interviews, and other materials designed to provide insights into the history of Buffalo’s East Side Community