BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — This week marks one year since 47 of our neighbors were killed in the Christmas weekend blizzard. That significant part of Western New York history will be preserved in the Buffalo History Museum archives for generations to come.
On Tuesday, the museum unveiled the Blizzard of 2022 Collection, a searchable archive available online at the museum’s archival database, found at this link.
“It was our responsibility as a history museum to document that and to make sure that this history that we lived through last December was recorded so that way, future generations would better understand what happened on the 23rd and 24th of December of 2022,” Director of Community Engagement Brian Hayden said.
The museum began collecting hundreds of testimonies, videos and pictures in January following the deadly blizzard, curating them into the museum’s archival database found online.
Buffalo History Museum Executive Director Melissa Brown said that the blizzard “left a mark on our collective memory, and now future generations can grasp the significance of this extraordinary storm through the perspectives of those who endured it.”
“Yes, we collect from long ago. Yes, our exhibits have objects from centuries ago, but history is happening here and now, too,” Hayden said. “It’s up to us as a museum to ask the community to share their stories, their experiences, their memories, their media.”
The Blizzard of 2022 Collection is part of a broader museum initiative of collecting from the present to create a record for the future.
The museum is also showcasing other contemporary collections like ‘Chronicling Covid-19,’ a menu and cookbook collection and a historical record of the 5/14 massacre.
The collections are a community effort that, Brown says, “ensures that the importance of today’s events will not be lost to history.”
“We recognize that these blizzards are this extraordinary moment in time of challenge, of adversity and of resilience, too. So, by collecting this history now, not only will we be talking about it to the next generation, but we have a historical record now too,” Hayden said.
The Museum is continuing to collect photos, video and audio recordings and written testimonials of the storm through an online submission form found here and will also consider objects related to the blizzard. Email Michelle Harris, Senior Director of Collections, at email@example.com with inquiries.
More information about the collecting initiative can be found here.