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Library and Special Collections

The G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library collects, preserves, and makes available scholarly resources in all formats that reflect the museum’s holdings, with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art. It has more than 53,000 titles, including, monographs, exhibition catalogues, auction catalogues, periodicals, and reference works. It also holds the special resources and collections outlined below.

We are not able to make appointments for use of the G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library or field reference questions at this time. For archives-related research requests, please see our Museum Archives page. For image-related research requests, please see our Digital Assets Collection and Obtaining and Using Images pages. You can also search the Library’s online catalogue.

Rare Materials

The Library has exhibition catalogues, monographs, and periodicals deemed rare by virtue of their age and/or their scarcity, including one of four existing library copies of the catalogue for the 1961 Martha Jackson Gallery exhibition Environments, Situations, and Spaces; 19th-century Niagara Falls souvenir books; and Alfred Stieglitz’s journal Camera-Work. Rare materials may be searched in the Library’s online catalogue.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Yearbooks

The Library yearbooks consist of reference copies of every exhibition catalogue produced by the museum since 1862, bound by year. After about 1937, the yearbooks also include copies of all printed material generated by the museum, including exhibition announcements, newsletters, press releases, and event invitations.

Scrapbooks

Compiled by local painter Eugenie Hauenstein, the Hauenstein Scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, letters, exhibition catalogues and announcements, brochures, and other printed material from 1886 to 1905 concerning The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, the Student’s Art Club, the Woman’s Art Club of New York, the Art Students’ League, the Bohemian Sketch Club, and other local art organizations.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery Scrapbooks consist of clippings about the museum’s events, exhibitions, and people culled by librarians from Buffalo-area newspapers from 1906 to 1910, from March 1913 to March 1914, and from 1917 to 2000.

Artists’ Books

Artists’ books are works of art realized in the form of a book. They are often published in small editions, though sometimes they are produced as one-of-a-kind objects. The Library’s collection of more than 550 artists’ books includes seminal works like Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966, as well as lesser-known works by emerging and local artists. This collection may be searched in the Library’s online catalogue.

Illustrated Books

An illustrated book may be a work in which a visual artist adds his or her illustrations to an established literary text, such as Ronald King’s specially designed images which accompany the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales; or may represent a collaboration between a writer and a visual artist in the co-creation of a new work, like Christopher Logue and John Christie’s Red Bird. The illustrated book collection may be searched in the Library’s online catalogue.

Special Ephemera

Amassed since the 1960s, the Albright-Knox’s Special Ephemera Collection consists of approximately 750 individual pieces of material—invitations, announcements, tickets, programs, cards, and publication notices—that were selected because of their unusual form or format. One example is an invitation to a Marcel Duchamp exhibition that is printed on the handle of a plastic ice-scraper. 

Ranging from the amusing to the elegant, the items in the Special Ephemera Collection document the lives and careers of contemporary artists, as well as the galleries that represented them. These items are a resource for the study and understanding of the nation’s artistic past, particularly of the lesser-known galleries and emerging/non-mainstream artists that represent the majority of the items in the collection.

Artists’ Sound Recordings

Ranging from documentary style recordings of sound installations to avant-garde compositions, audio cassettes and records in this collection document, in particular, American artists’ engagements with sound from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The Sound Recordings Collection is open to researchers, and may be searched in the Library’s online catalogue.

History of the Library

Established in 1933 by Seymour H. Knox, Jr., and his mother Grace Millard Knox, the Library was renamed the G. Robert Strauss, Jr. Memorial Library when it moved to its present location in Clifton Hall in 1992. The new facility, generously donated by Sue and Gerald R. Strauss in memory of their son Bob, is a recognized leader among art libraries in the region.

All Collections

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