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Historical Society Latest to Cut Back on Hours

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – Another cultural organization is taking a proactive role in response to the Erie County budget crisis.

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society will be cutting back its hours starting this summer. It will be closed to the public the first weeks of July, August, September, October and November. But it will remain open on weekends.

Executive Director William Siener says the organization has lost 44 percent of its funding from the county this year. He says cutting back on hours will allow the Historical Society to remain open.

"It is just not possible to stay open on the same schedule we have in the past," Seiner said.

The Historical Society will also reduce Friday evening hours at its Resource Center on Forest Avenue. That center houses the Pan-American Exhibit. Siener says they will be exploring other ways to make collections accessible to the public -- for example -- putting items up for view on the Internet. And it will examine ways to increase its revenues.

"We are looking at the collections to see if things could be reproduced and made available for sale," Seiner said. "It is a new day and we are going to have to find ways to replace the income we have lost."

By reducing hours from July through November, the Historical Society says it will be able to stabilize costs. The organization faces a $48,000 deficit this year.