A digitized collection of the earliest yearbooks of Buffalo’s second high school are now published for all to access at: https://nyheritage.org/collections/masten-park-high-school-chronicle-yearbooks. This project would never have come into being without the hard work and determination of Celia White, a professional librarian, who is also a volunteer archivist and alumna of City Honors, and whose experience in physical archives and digital libraries inspired her to pursue this project of making the school’s unique heritage available to everyone.
About the collection: The Masten Park High School Chronicles are paper-bound, semi-quarterly publications of Masten Park High School in Buffalo, New York. Four to six issues per year, 1900-1927, featured literary and journalistic writing of students, photos of sports teams and activities, advertisements for local business in Buffalo, and in the June issues, portraits of graduating seniors. A few issues are missing, as no copies were present in the physical collection held at City Honors School.
About the project: One hundred and six volumes, 1900-1927, were digitized. Each page can be viewed as an image, and the text of the yearbooks is fully searchable for names and other terms. The bound volumes were scanned at 300 ppi, 8 bit grayscale to produce uncompressed TIFF images, including covers, inside covers, and blanks. Pages were also scanned for text through Optical Character Recognition, which allowed all content, including names and dates, to be searchable and viewed as text.
Background: Masten Park High School was the second public high school in Buffalo, New York. It opened in 1897 on the East Side of Buffalo in the Masten Park neighborhood. By 1900, MPHS had enrolled over 1,100 students, as the population of Buffalo soared. A fire during the school day on March 27, 1912, which almost completely destroyed the building. At great cost, the school was rebuilt and reopened in 1914. The building is renowned for its architectural influences, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The yearbooks chronicle the students, staff and faculty of the school, and its famous Principal Dr. Frank Sheldon “Fearless” Fosdick. The building served as home to three more Buffalo Public Schools: Fosdick-Masten High School, Girls Vocational High School, and City Honors School.
About the partnerships: The Western New York Regional Library Council’s (WNYLRC) Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program (RBDB) provided the grant funding for this project.
New York Heritage is a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and anyone else who is interested in learning more about the people, places and institutions of New York State. The collections in New York Heritage represent a broad range of historical, scholarly, and cultural materials held in libraries, museums, and archives throughout the state. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, directories, maps, books, and more.
The Buffalo Public Schools Libraries is a member of WNYLRC.