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Kerry S. Grant Pan-American Exposition collection

 Collection — Box: 1-27
Identifier: MS-0130

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of printed matter and memorabilia relating to the Pan-American Exposition held at Buffalo, New York in 1901. The collection includes programs, picture books, magazines, maps, and various ephemera. A number of newspaper articles relating to the assassination of President William McKinley can be found in Series XVII: Newspapers and newspaper articles.


  • 1901


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Kerry S. Grant Pan-American Exposition collection, circa 1901, is open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Historical Note

The Pan-American Exposition was held in Buffalo, New York from May 1 to November 2, 1901. Buffalo was chosen as the location because of its size (at the time it was the eighth largest city in the U.S. with a population of approximately 350,000) and also because of its well suited railway connections. The grounds spread across 342 acres and were located between Delaware Park Lake to the south, the New York Central railroad track to the north, Delaware Avenue to the east, and Elmwood Avenue to the west.

The Exposition included educational exhibits as well as a Midway. The educational exhibits showcased the latest advancements in technology, most notably electricity. A major feature was electric lighting which utilized hydroelectric power generated in nearby Niagara Falls. Many of the Exposition buildings, including the prominent Electric Tower, were covered in light-bulbs creating a beautiful and unprecedented sight. The Pan-American Exposition also hosted some of the top engine manufacturers of the time. These companies provided “working exhibits” that actually functioned in the day-to-day operation of the Exposition. The Midway at the Pan-American Exposition provided visitors with entertainment and consisted of more than 42 exhibits. Some of the main attractions of the Midway included the “House Upside Down,” “Cleopatra’s Temple”, and the “Foreign Villages.”

The Pan-American Exposition is most widely known as the location of President McKinley’s assassination. On September 6, 1901, while in a receiving line at the Exposition’s Temple of Music, President McKinley was shot twice by anarchist, Leon Czolgosz. McKinley was taken to the Exposition’s hospital where he was operated on by a number of prominent Buffalo surgeons including Roswell Park. The President was then taken to the home of John Milburn, head of the Exposition’s Board of Directors, to recover. After his condition appeared to improve, McKinley eventually died on September 14 in the Milburn home due to infection and gangrene from the gun shot wounds.


25.09 Linear Feet (3 manuscript boxes, 1 carton, 13 clamshell boxes, 10 oversize flat boxes)


Printed matter and memorabilia relating to the Pan-American Exposition held at Buffalo, New York in 1901. The materials were collected by Kerry S. Grant and donated to the University Archives in 2004 and 2005. The collection includes programs, picture books, magazines, maps, and various ephemera.


The collection is divided into 18 series: I. Daily programs, II. Guidebooks, III. Picture books, IV. State guidebooks, V. Prospectus, VI. Exhibit publications, VII. City guidebooks, VIII. Posters, IX. Postcards, X. Magazines, XI. Ephemera, XII. Photographs, XIII. Western New York information, XIV. Other fairs, XV. Secondary sources, XVI. Maps, XVII. Newspapers and newspaper articles, and XVIII. Other records.
These series are based on the categories used by Kerry S. Grant on the inventory he provided with his donation. Series XVI, XVII, and XVIII were not categories on the inventory but were added to include items that were not designated by Kerry S. Grant and do not fit into any of the other categories. The description of each item is based on the information provided on the inventory as well as the actual item.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to the University Archives by Professor of Music, Kerry S. Grant, in April 2004. Additional deposits were made by Kerry S. Grant in January 2005.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Related Resources

19/F/333 -- Roswell Park miscellanea, 1876-1914
19/F/576 -- Roswell Park scrapbooks, 1872-1875,1877-1914
19/F/947 Photocopy -- Scrapbook concerning assassination of William McKinley, 1901

Processing Information

Processed by Archives staff in 2004 and fully processed by Anne Hicks December 2008.

Finding Aid for the Kerry S. Grant Pan-American Exposition collection
Finding aid prepared by Anne Hicks, 2008.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)