Since its founding in 1862, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society has been Western New York's premier historical organization, serving to collect, research, interpret, and share the Niagara Frontier's rich history. Its collections include more than 100,000 artifacts, 200,000 photographs, and 20,000 books. The Historical Society annually presents a wide array of programs, exhibits, tours, outdoor events, and activities for all ages that utilize many of these resources to tell the stories of both ordinary and extraordinary people of Western New York.
The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society (BECHS) is a private not-for-profit organization tax exempt under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It receives operating support from the County of Erie, the City of Buffalo, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA, a state agency), and from members and friends. BECHS is accredited by the American Association of Museum.