The following topics highlight key collections within the Cody Archive. They each represent distinct but defining chapters in William F. Cody's story and in the history of Buffalo Bill's Wild West. The identification, collection, and editing of this material was made possible by generous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Wyoming Cultural Trust, as well as private donors.

Buffalo Bill Himself

Learn more about the private life of William F. Cody, the man behind Buffalo Bill, through correspondence, photographs, and memoirs.

Buffalo Bill on Stage

Buffalo Bill Cody first appeared on stage in Chicago in 1872. The Buffalo Bill Combination traveled throughout the United States over thirteen seasons giving over 1,200 performances.

Lakota Performers

Buffalo Bill's Wild West depended on Lakota Sioux "Show Indians" primarily from the Dakota Pine Ridge reservation as a central element anchoring the exhibition's claims to authenticity.

Wild West in Britain

Buffalo Bill's Wild West first toured Britain in 1887, performing for enthusiastic audiences in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. That success led to further tours of Europe in the years to come.

Wild West in Germany

Capitalizing upon the German public's fascination with the American West, Buffalo Bill's Wild West visited Germany and Austria during two extended tours in 1890-91 and again in 1905-06.

Wild West in Italy & Spain

Buffalo Bill's Wild West first visited Italy in 1890. The show did not return until 1906, but it enjoyed an afterlife in Italian popular culture well into the 1940s through dime novels and other media.

Congress of Rough Riders

Buffalo Bill's Wild West added the Congress of Rough Riders feature in 1893. Cossacks, Gauchos, Arabs, and European cavalry units, performed with American cowboys, Mexican Vaqueros, and Lakota warriors.

Roosevelt's Rough Riders

Buffalo Bill's Wild West reenacted the Battle of San Juan Hill featuring actual veterans from Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders and Buffalo Soldiers from the 10th US Cavalry regiment.

Buffalo Bill's Wyoming

William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody and George Beck worked to build the Cody Canal as a part of their development of the town of Cody, Wyoming that also included a route to Yellowstone National Park.

Buffalo Bill on Film

In 1894, Thomas Edison invited Cody to bring some of the Wild West performers to the inventor's kinetoscope studio. Cody remained in the camera's eye, eventually producing his own Western films.