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Archives & Special Collections
The Paul G. Reilly Indian Collection

Historical Background

Paul G. Reilly served as attorney of record for the land claims initiated by the Seneca Nation of Indians and the Tonawanda Band of Senecas before the Indian Land Commission between 1948 and 1976.

Mr. Reilly in preparing for these legal cases, over a period of forty years, collected a great A cornhusk doll, a traditional toy of the Seneca Nation of Indians volume of photocopies of treaties between various Indian nations and the Various Indian nations and the United States Government, chapters from history books, maps and other supporting materials. These photocopies were made from the original materials held at the National Archives, libraries and other depositories across the United States. Some of the materials that were collected and cited in the briefs for the Seneca Indian Land case of 1971 are not included in this collection. All those documents cited in the case can be found at the National Archives.

Professors Eric Brunger and John Aiken, members of the History Department at Buffalo State College and both experts in western New York history, were requested By Paul Reilly to assist him in evaluating the lands involved in the Seneca Indian land claims case. Their work entitled "The Big Tree Cession of 1794" was presented as part of the Senecasí brief before the Indian Claims Commission in September of 1970.

As a result of their work which also included testifying before the Indian Claims Commission, Mr. Reilly upon his retirement from the law, after the conclusion of the case in 1971, offered the papers to the two professors. They accepted the papers for the college and requested that the papers be housed in E. H. Butler Library.

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Contents and Inventory

The collection consists of 48 boxes. There is a 227 page finding aid that provides titles of the materials filed in each of the 48 boxes.

General Classifications of Documents

  • Agreements with Indian nations prior to 1789
  • Agreement with Indian nations after 1789
  • Bibliographies on Indian history
  • Federal and State court cases involving Indian Affairs
  • Iroquois/Seneca Indian treaties
  • Legal documents before the Indian Claims Commission
  • Map relating to Indian Affairs
  • Seneca Indians - constitution, oil leases - 1897 - government documents and pamphlets

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Library Home


Archives houses various college publications, scrapbooks, memorabilia and statistics from 1860 on, as well as college annual reports, budgets, and salary information.

Our special collections include scores of unique collections of local history, regional interest, and national significance.

Many of these collections are in BUTL 218 (map). To use these materials, please review our policies, and schedule an appointment using the contact information below.


Monday - Friday:
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Archivist: Daniel DiLandro
Telephone: 716-878-6308
Fax: 716-878-3134

Staff Assistant: Margaret Hatfield
Telephone: 716-878-6304
Fax: 716-878-3134

Fronczak Room Curator: Wanda Slawinska
Telephone: 716-878-6208
Fax: 716-878-3134

This page was last updated on March 23, 2009.