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THE HISTORY CENTER BLOG

The History Center blog shares research and findings about local history, excerpts from our Thaler/Howell Archives, information about upcoming exhibits and other opportunities on how to get involved with The History Center in Tompkins County. To learn more or view the archival materials mentioned, visit us in downtown Ithaca or subscribe to our monthly newsletter History Happenings

Tompkins County Schoolhouse Photos Added to New York Heritage Digital Collections

Sun, November 01, 2020 5:14 PM | Anonymous

The History Center is delighted to announce a new online exhibit on the New York Heritage Digital Collections website. It celebrates schools, school groups, and classes from the 1860s to the 1960s. 

Tompkins County Schoolhouse Photos Collection

Schools are and always have been the main social enterprise of any community. This centrality is illustrated by New York State’s directive to ensure that adequate funding be put aside for the establishment of schools when Tompkins County was first formed in 1817. These hubs of learning were scattered throughout the county; many were small one-room buildings placed in or near villages, hamlets and other population centers. Classes were often mixed, with older students sharing space, teachers, and resources with their younger sisters and brothers. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that districts consolidated and small village schools were closed. Tompkins County and communities throughout the state established the modern public school system that we know today.

Scope of Collection

This collection includes black and white photographs of Tompkins County school buildings, classes, and assorted groups. The work of many different, mostly unknown photographers, these images range from small 19th century one-room school houses with a scattering of students, to large class groups of hundreds of students in mid-20th century public schools.

This is the sixth collection from The History Center in Tompkins County archives that has been digitized and made available on New York Heritage Digital Collections. Explore the others here.

This archival collection was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities CARES Act funding. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this collection do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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110 North Tioga Street

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Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

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