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Anthropologists to Speak at Museum of disABILITY History

Presentation to Focus on Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery Project


As part of its Dialogues on disABILITY Speaker Series, the Museum of disABILITY History is pleased to welcome Douglas Perrelli, Ph.D., Joyce E. Sirianni, Ph.D. and Rosanne Higgins, Ph.D., anthropologists whose work has brought about numerous insights into the world of local almshouses. Their presentation, entitled “The Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery Project,” will take place on Friday, August 22, 2014, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 3826 Main Street in Buffalo.


The lecture will focus on the anthropologists’ 2012 excavation of skeletal remains on what is now a part of the University at Buffalo’s Main Street Campus. This undertaking, named the Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery Project, was completed by archeological survey staff and physical anthropologists from the UB Department of Anthropology.


Within their three-part presentation, Drs. Perrelli, Sirianni and Higgins will discuss the story behind the project. They will also share their archeological discoveries, archival research, as well as thoughts on skeletal analysis and what can be shared about those who lived at the Erie County Poorhouse.


Dr. Douglas Perrelli is an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo who also serves as director and principle investigator for the UB Archeological Survey.


Dr. Joyce E. Sirianni is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor whose research interests include physical anthropology and craniofacial growth and development.


Dr. Rosanne Higgins, who earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University at Buffalo, has taken part in extensive research on Poorhouses throughout Western New York. She is a novelist whose first book, entitled Orphans and Inmates, chronicles fictional accounts of Poorhouse residents inspired by historical data she has collected.


The Dialogues on disABILITY event is $5 for adults and $2.50 for seniors, students and human service employees. The event fee includes admission to the gallery space of the Museum of disABILITY History. For more information or to register, call 716-629-3626.


The Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of artifacts relating to the history of people with disabilities. The mission is to tell the story of the lives, triumphs and struggles of people with disabilities as well as society’s reactions. The Museum of disABILITY History, located at 3826 Main Street in Buffalo, NY, offers educational exhibits, programs and activities that expand community awareness.


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