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Joan Bozer papers

 Collection — Box: 1-36+
Identifier: MS-0231

Scope and Contents

Series and subseries contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, newsletters, meeting minutes, brochures, and other papers documenting the work of Joan Bozer as an Erie County Legislator.

Series I, Preservation, contains records documenting preservation work on historic homes and districts in Buffalo, NY and Erie County, especially the St. Mary of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church and its transformation into the King Urban Life Center. The series also contains records of various preservation organizations in the area.

Series II contains papers documenting the Pan-American Exposition of 2001. Bozer played an instrumental part in the planning of the expo and the various projects of the Women’s Pavilion and Solar Pavilion.

Series III, on Parks in Erie County and other parts of New York State, contains papers of organizations and projects pertaining to parks development and planning.

Series IV on the Waterfront contains papers that document Bozer’s participation in various projects concerning waterfront access in downtown Buffalo. The Riverwalk is a major project that Bozer worked on.

Series V, the largest series in the Joan Bozer papers, documents the work of the Erie County Legislature. Budgeting and cultural funding documents make up a large portion of these records, as well as different issues that Bozer encountered while serving, such as women’s health, social services, and the consolidation of local government. This series also contains professional and personal papers of Bozer’s assistant, Killian Vetter, who did a lot of work with the Mental Health Association.

Series VI documents tourism endeavors in Erie and Niagara counties.

Series VII on regional planning contains papers that document cooperative efforts between Erie and Niagara counties.

The focus of Series VIII is on projects meant to beautify downtown Buffalo, such as the Main Street Mall project.

Series IX is on international trade and exports, and Bozer’s work on including Buffalo in international trade.

Community development, series X, contains papers that document community revitalization work in various neighborhoods of Buffalo and Erie County.

Series XI on energy and sustainability document Bozer’s interest in working toward a sustainable future.

The final series, XII, contains papers that document a variety of topics such as the University at Buffalo, the Buffalo Bills, and the Student Association at Canisius College.


  • 1876-2003


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Joan Bozer papers, 1876-2003, are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection is held by Joan Bozer, her heirs and assigns. Additional copyright may be held by other authors, or their 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.

Biographical Note

Joan Bozer is a former Erie County Legislator who has worked on several projects in Buffalo and Erie County. She grew up in Westchester County, NY with her parents, Tom and Ruth Kendig. Her father Tom owned a manufacturing business, and his belief that American manufacturers should expand into foreign markets transferred to Joan in her legislative work. Her mother was a librarian. Joan went to high school in Pelham, NY and attended Dean Junior College in Massachusetts. She then attended SUNY’s Empire State College in Buffalo, NY and earned a BA degree in history and government. She married Dr. John Bozer, a prominent Buffalo cardiologist in 1951.

In 1975, Joan Bozer was elected to the Erie County Legislator and represented the 4th District. As a legislator, one of her major accomplishments was to save the Old Post Office, which was converted into the downtown campus of Erie Community College. She also played a major role in the Pan-American Exposition Centennial of 2001 by founding the Women’s Pavilion, which produced three solar energy exhibits. Joan was also known as the matriarch of the Buffalo Olmstead Parks Conservancy. In addition to these accomplishments and interests, Joan is also a co-founder and co-chair of the Western New York Sustainable Energy Association. She is also an active member of the League of Women Voters and the Citizens Regional Transit Corporation. Her prominent interests include the environment, urban sprawl, and renewable energy, in addition to the preservation of historic buildings. Joan worked to open up public access to Downtown Buffalo’s waterfront, helped to bring a solar-powered antique carousel to Canalside. In 2014, Joan received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Preservation Buffalo Niagara. Joan Bozer passed away May 4, 2023 at the age of 94.


15.85 Linear Feet (33 manuscript boxes, 2 half manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box)


Personal and professional papers of former Erie County Legislator Joan Bozer. Includes papers from various projects Bozer worked on throughout her career.


This collection is arranged in series based on the projects Joan Bozer has worked on during her career, and the order of the series is based on the order in which the papers were found. The records are arranged by type (correspondence, newspaper clippings, etc.) and then chronologically by date within each series. Some records are arranged alphabetically, such as the survey documents for properties in the Preservation series.

Acquisition Information

The Joan Bozer papers were gifted by Joan Bozer to the University Archives on May 15, 2013.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Danielle White, June 2014.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle White, March 2015.

Finding Aid for the Joan Bozer papers
Finding aid prepared by Danielle White.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

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