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Zina Bethune collection on Louise Bethune

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0262
Zina Bethune Collection on Louise Bethune
Zina Bethune Collection on Louise Bethune

Scope and Contents

The foundation of this collection rests with the materials directly pertaining to Louise Bethune and her work as an architect (Series I). These include several portraits of Bethune, from approximately age 3 to 55; a typewritten biographical manuscript by Bethune written near the end of her life; her genealogy research of the Blanchard and Bethune families; and architectural plans for three of Bethune’s works in Buffalo, New York. These consist of the Bricka and Enos building at 621-625 Main Street, the Lafayette Hotel, and Police Station No. 2 at 401 Seneca Street.

Series II is the largest, and documents Louise and Robert Bethune’s son, Dr. Charles William Bethune. Records include biographic material including photographs, certificates, and materials regarding his marriage to Wilhelmina (Minnie) Dubke and their son Charles William Bethune, Jr. (Billy). His professional life as an urologist is also covered, including photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, and newsletters, all of which offer documentation on mid-twentieth century medical history. Like his mother, Charles also maintained genealogy records and photographs, in particular for his wife’s family relations (including Breman, Clay, Dubke, and Moffett families).

Series III contains a variety of other family records of unknown relation, and includes clippings, photographs (subjects A to Z), city of Buffalo Blackout broadside from 1941, and a course proposal for a program affiliated with Buffalo State Teachers College (now Buffalo State College).


  • circa 1860-1962

Terms of Access and Use

The Zina Bethune collection on Louise Bethune is open for research. Cabinet card photograph albums and architectural plans are fragile; patrons are urged to use digital surrogates.

Exhibition Note

Some items from this collection are on exhibition and are unavailable for research access at this time. Please contact University Archives staff for more information.

Special Viewing Instructions

Access to digitized material provided via the Digital Collections online repository.


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 University Archives before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

For a biography of Louise Blanchard Bethune and exploration of her work in architecture, see the website by Kelly Hayes McAlonie, FAIA, at (last accessed 2023).


18 Linear Feet (7 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, 2 cartons, 6 oversize boxes, 18 architectural drawings and prints, and two objects)

Language of Materials



Documents the life and work of the first American professional woman architect, Louise Blanchard Bethune. Includes records on the Bethune and Dubke families, the life and work of Dr. Charles William Bethune (Louise Bethune's son), and photographs of the Blanchard family.


Arranged in 3 series:

I. Louise Bethune
Subseries A. Blanchard/Bethune family photographs
Subseries B. Louise Bethune photographs
Subseries C. Writings by/about Louise Bethune
Subseries D. Genealogy
Subseries E. Architectural plans and drawings
Subseries F. Other Blanchard/Bethune family records

II. Charles William Bethune
Subseries A. Biographic
Subseries B. Professional work
Subseries C. Photographs
Subseries D. Dubka family

III. Other family records

Acquisition Information

The Zina Bethune collection on Louise Bethune was gifted to University Archives by multiple donors. The bulk of the collection was gifted by Sean Feeley (husband of Zina Bethune) in January 2017, accession 17-003, as facilitated by Kelly Hayes McAlonie. Additional materials gifted by Kelly Hayes McAlonie, June 2018, accession 18-004; and Jon Morris, June 2018, accession 18-003, also facilitated by Hayes McAlonie.

Materials from the Hayes McAlonie and Morris gifts are noted with corresponding accession numbers. Materials without an accession number derive from the Feeley gift.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Amy Vilz, September 2018; finding aid encoded by Amy Vilz, September 2018. Part of the collection was digitized by University Archives staff and published on Digital Collections in 2023.

Finding Aid for the Zina Bethune collection on Louise Bethune
Finding aid prepared by Amy Vilz.
09 September 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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)