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Charles Rand Penney Art Library & Papers [ca. 1900-present]: Home

Descriptive Summary


The Charles Rand Penney Travel Journal Collection

Date Span:


Acquisition Number:



Charles Rand Penney         


Charles Rand Penney

Date of Acquisition:



43 volumes




Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State



Information on Use:


The Charles Rand Penney Travel Journal Collection is open for research.

Reproduction of Materials: 

See Archivist for information on reproducing materials from this collection, including photocopies, digital camera images, or digital scans, as well as copyright restrictions that may pertain to these materials. 

Even though all reasonable and customary best-practices have been pursued, this collection may contain materials with confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the SUNY Buffalo State assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation:

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, The Charles Rand Penney Travel Journal Collection, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.

Biographical Note:

A native of Buffalo, NY,  Dr. Charles Rand Penney made his life and career in Western New York, working first as a lawyer and later pursuing a life-long love of collecting and lecturing about art and antiques around the world.  In 1995, he was honored with a Doctorate of Fine Arts from the State University of New York for his commitment and contributions to the arts, especially in Western New York.  In 1999, he received the Red Jacket Award from the Buffalo History Museum for his commitment to raising awareness of the shared heritage of Western New York.

Whether traveling to Papua, New Guinea or up the Niagara River to Olcott Beach, Dr. Penney’s collection signified his approach to learning about new people and places, eventually growing to include more than 100 different themes.  In the early 1990s, he donated a collection of Western New York Art to the Burchfield Art Center at Buffalo State College (resulting in the renaming of the Center to the Burchfield-Penney Art Center).  His collection of Historical Niagara Falls Prints was donated to the Castellani Art Museum in 1993.  In 2008, he donated his entire collection of Niagara County art, artifacts, and research materials to the History Center at the Niagara County Historical Society, eventually resulting in the opening of the eponymous Penney Gallery.

Scope and Contents:

The collection includes travel journals written by Charles Rand Penney including the following locations:

The Amazon; Austria; Afghanistan; Alaska, U.S.A.; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Bermuda; Canada; The Canary Islands; China; Cote D’Ivoire; Denmark; Egypt; France; Galapagos Islands, Ecuador; Germany; Greece; Hong Kong, China; Honolulu, Hawaii; Hungary; Indonesia; Iran; Jamaica; Japan; Kyoto, Japan; London, England; Macau/Macao; Mali; Mexico City, Mexico; Mexico; Mongolia; Moorea, French Polynesia; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Paris, France; Poland; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Quito, Ecuador; Russia; San Juan, U.S. Virgin Islands; San Maarten, U.S. Virgin Islands; Senegal; Siberia; South America; Southeast Asia; Spain; St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Johns, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Sweden; Sydney, Australia; Tahiti, French Polynesia; Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; Tunisia; Turkey; West Germany; and Yugoslavia.

The Penney Trail Project:

The Charles Rand Penney Trail connects collections that were either donated by Charles Rand Penney or purchased from his estate and now reside in diverse institutions across Niagara and Erie County, New York.  These institutions include the Niagara County Historical Society, the Buffalo History Museum, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, the Buffalo Museum of Science, the Castellani Art Museum, the Butler Library of SUNY Buffalo State, and the Burchfield-Penney Art Center. In total, the collection represents the depth and breadth of art, artifacts and ephemera assembled by one of the great American collectors of the twentieth century.  Dr. Penney collected throughout his life and maintained a strong connection to Western New York.  The museums and cultural institutions above have brought Dr. Penney’s diverse interests together once again through the Charles Rand Penney Trail digital collection.

All institutional collections can be found through New York Heritage:

Visit the Collection Online

Charles Rand Penney