The University Libraries offers exhibitions and special displays throughout our Libraries.

A Portal to the Past: The Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection

The Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection is home to a unique assemblage of rare scientific books, manuscripts, anatomical models, diagnostic tools and medical artifacts illustrating the growth and development of the health sciences. Established in 1972, and named in 1985 for Robert L. Brown, MD, former associate dean of the University of Buffalo School of Medicine, the collection’s primary focus is on the medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and public health professions in Western New York.

From third-century Roman surgical instruments to materials that chronicle the history of UB’s medical and health sciences schools, this distinctive collection encompasses an abundance of rich, archival resources to educate and inspire students, scholars, and a wide, global community. By acquiring, collecting, preserving and exhibiting these treasured resources, the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection aims to achieve its mission of charting the future by exploring the past.

Location: Silverman Library, 3rd floor, September 2023 - August, 2024

Praxeda Fronczak: A Red-Cross Nurse in Poland (1919-1921)

This exhibition showcases the journey of Praxeda I. Fronczak a Buffalo based, Polish-American red cross nurse during the Polish-Soviet War (c.1919-1921).At the age of 21, Praxeda attended the Training School for Nurses at the Sisters of Charity Hospital graduating in 1916. Then shortly after became a registered nurse and began working for the Health Department of the City of Buffalo until 1919 when she joined the Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross in 1919 to aid Poland during the Polish-Soviet War.

Following the end of World War One, Poland grappled with continued border conflicts. Reestablished as an independent Republic after over 100 years of partitioning, Polish borders remained in flux despite the Treaty of Paris (1918) which eventually led to a direct clash with the Red Army of the Soviets following the end of the Russian Revolution. Disease complicated the Polish war effort further because of a lack of trained medical professionals. And typhus ravaged the eastern half of the country as thousands of infected and malnourished refugees fled the Soviets into Poland.

The exhibit features photographs, journal entries, and correspondence from Praxeda, showcasing her efforts to help evacuate refugees across the frozen Dniester River, to treat the sick and starving, to establish modern nursing schools in Poland, and to teach Polish women to become nurses.

Location: History of Medicine Collection’s Conference Space, Room B5A., on display through September 2024.

To view the exhibition, contact The Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection at historyofmedicine@buffalo.edu or 716-829-5685 to make an appointment.

Bethune: every woman her own architect

This exhibition celebrates Buffalo-based architect Louise Blanchard Bethune, FAIA, the first professional woman architect in the United States and the first woman elected to the American Institute of Architects. Louise Bethune’s many residential, commercial, and educational projects include Lockport Union High School, the Buffalo Livestock Exchange, the 74th Regiment Armory, and the historic Hotel Lafayette. Bethune’s life and work, both as an architect an advocate for women in the profession, are highlighted in this exceptional exhibition. Inspired by the book, Louise Blanchard Bethune: Every Woman Her Own Architect, by Kelly Hayes McAlonie, FAIA, LEED®AP, Director of University at Buffalo Campus Planning, the exhibition features the Zina Bethune Collection on Louise Bethune. Departments and institutions that are lending items to the exhibit are the Costume Shop, UB Department of Theatre and Dance; the Fabrication Workshop, UB School of Architecture and Planning; The Rare Book Room at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library; The FTT Historic Costume and Textile Collection at SUNY Buffalo State University; and the New York State Museum.

Location: Special Collections, 420 Capen Hall, April 2023 - May, 2024

The Weird One: Collages of Helen and Pat Adam

A small exhibition of the work of Scottish-American sisters, Helen and Pat Adam. The exhibition is located right outside the Silverman Grand Reading Room.

Location: Silverman Library, 3rd floor, June, 2018-