History is for everyone!
The History Center is working to improve the accessibility of our collections, programs, and learning materials. Details on the physical accessibility of our space can be reviewed on the Inclusive Recreation Resource Center's profile of our building and Exhibit Hall. The History Center is located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture, a heritage tourism space in downtown Ithaca that we share with 13 other local non-profits.
Visitors can enter through the front door adjacent to the Bernie Milton Pavilion. Street and garage parking (Seneca Street or Green Street garages recommended) are available on surrounding streets. The Seneca Street TCAT bus stop is less than a block away from our main entrance. We have one handicap accessible parking space available at the back of the building. If you are planning a visit and would like to use this space, please contact us in advance so we can open the back entrance doors for you.
If you have any questions about our Health & Safety Protocols, please reach out to us via email or phone (607-273-8284 ext. 229). We are also happy to coordinate private visits to ensure covid safety and a comfortable museum experience for at risk or immuno-compromised visitors.
We have wheelchairs, and seating available for visitors to explore the Exhibit Hall. Available by request at the front desk, these can also be reserved in advance by emailing email@example.com.
Accessible multi-stall restrooms are available on the first and second floors (second floor can be reached via stairs or elevator). Gender neutral private restrooms are available on the second floor. All restrooms have changing tables available for parents caring for young children.
Driving & Parking
Find driving directions to The History Center from nearby cities, local highways, and area colleges here.
Parking is available in the Seneca Street Garage. Additional metered street parking is available around the Commons, paid Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and free all other hours and weekends. Payments can be made at the meter or the kiosks or on the ParkMobile App.
We have one handicap accessible parking space available at the back of the building. If you are planning a visit and would like to use this space, please contact us in advance so we can open the back entrance doors for you.
All major TCAT bus routes go to Seneca Street. Cross Seneca Street and head down the large alley past the Bernie Milton Pavilion leading to the Ithaca Commons. The History Center is on the right side of the alley, just after the M&T Bank.
Bike racks are available nearby on the Commons. Bikes can be rented locally through Ithaca Bike Rental.
Downtown Ithaca also offers short term rentals through Ithaca Bikeshare app.
Inclusive Recreation Resource Center's profile of our handicap accessibility here.
This profile includes detailed information regarding the physical layout of the Exhibit Hall and Research Library, as well as alternate methods for engaging with our exhibits and materials for individuals with impaired sight or hearing. Print-out visitor guides can be requested at the docent desk to the right of the front entrance to the Exhibit Hall.
We do not have a parking lot associated with our building; however, visitors with physical and/or movement impairment are encouraged to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to use one of two staff parking spaces by the back entrance of our building. These spaces may not be used without advance communication.
Email email@example.com with any questions or feedback. We have two wheelchairs available for visitor use within the building. Ask at the front desk or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve them in advance of your visit.
The History Center Exhibit Hall, and the majority of our learning programs are presented in written and spoken English. At this time we are not able to offer walk-in translation services for visitors.
The History Center began a community partnership with the Translator Interpreter Program (TIP) in 2023. The Translator-Interpreter Program (TIP) student-run board trains bilingual and multilingual Cornell students to serve as volunteer translators/interpreters for community agencies in emergency and non-emergency situations. If you contact us ahead of your visit we will do our best to coordinate with TIP volunteers to find a student available to offer translation during your visit to our Exhibit Hall, or during one of our events and programs. This service is entirely FREE, however student availability may be limited by the school year, and available language speakers vary by semester.
TIP is the oldest and largest faculty-certified, student-run translation and interpretation program in the United States.
Please email email@example.com to request Translation Services.
Visitors seeking American Sign Language (ASL) support during their visit to the Exhibit Hall or one of our events may request a ASL translator for a specific event in advance. We partner with Sign Language Solutions based out of Odessa NY for ASL translators. Requests made less than 2 weeks before an event we may not be able to fulfill depending on the availability of translators. The History Center will cover the cost of ASL translators for requested public events as part of our commitment to ensuring local history is accessible to all. Events highlighting Deaf history in Tompkins County will always have ASL translators.
We are in the process of adding closed captions for all our learning videos and programs on our YouTube channel, written text and audio guides for museum exhibits, transcripts for all oral histories available in our archives and on New York Digital Heritage, alt-text for all images on our website, and creating engaging alternative learning methods for all the programs we offer through the museum.
If there are specific projects or programs you are interested in, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will prioritize making those materials available to you in an accessible way. (Updated as of April 22nd 2023). If you would like to volunteer with us on one of these projects please reach out!
Many Exhibit Hall displays have audio components, and there is a continuous audio loop playing in the museum as part of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ Creation Story display. If you would like the sound turned off during your visit please contact us ahead of time at email@example.com and we can make those adjustments before you arrive. We can also provide a list and map of the current displays that have audio components in advance.
The History Center in Tompkins County offers free admission to the Exhibit Hall during all our regular open hours, although we gratefully accept donations to support our events and programs. The History Center is a proud member of Museums for All which offers free and reduced admission to over 600 museums across the United States for individuals who receive food assistance and/or SNAP benefits. We reserve a few spaces for each of our fee programs and events for SNAP/EBT card holders. Details for how to access these reduced fee tickets will be in the registration information for each program.
We are also a Blue Star Museums member, offering free and reduced admission to over 2,000 museums and historic sites across the United States for military personnel and families between Memorial Day and Arbor Day every year.
The History Center Research Library & Archives are free for all residents of Tompkins County, although we do charge a modest fee for out-of-town researchers. If these fees are prohibitive for individuals to pursue their research project with us, please reach out and we will come to a solution.
If any of our programs are cost prohibitive for your family or community group to attend or engage with please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.