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The History Center is a generation-to-generation education and research center preserving the history of Tompkins County, New York. The History Center helps people use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and play an informed role in shaping the future.

The History Center is located in the Tompkins Center for History & Culture on the Ithaca Commons.

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Circular image, text button "Research Library"

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Circular image, text button "Historical Societies & Groups"

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The History Center Blog

UPCOMING EVENTS

For a full list of our programs explore our Calendar

Rectangular Image of a Poster that reads "reCount: Facing Our Census Exhibition April 1st 2022"

Upcoming events

    • Wed, September 07, 2022
    • Sat, December 31, 2022
    • 68 sessions
    • Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850


    Walk through local stories and discover the history of Tompkins County

    Open Hours

    Our Exhibit Hall is open Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm throughout the year. 

    Suggested Donation
    Adults: $10
    Child: $4

    BOOK IN ADVANCE

    Scheduling in advance secures your space during your requested time, but the Exhibit Hall will still be open to other visitors. If you would like to schedule a private visit with masked staff please contact community@thehistorycenter.net

    **Research visits to the Archives & Research Library must be scheduled separately by emailing archives@thehistorycenter.net**

    How long should I plan for?

    We suggest planning for at least an hour to explore the Exhibit Hall, but you may stay as long as you like. We encourage everyone to also explore the Community Arts Partnership Gallery, TCHC Community Tower Exhibit (rotates every three months) and Downtown Visitors Center located on the first floor.

    Visiting the Exhibit Hall

    The History Center is offering in-person visits to our state-of-the-art Exhibit Hall including our Timeline Tunnel, Story Vault, Eight Square Schoolhouse Replica, access to our six exhibit towers, and a close look at our 104 year old Tommy Plane! Private visits with only your group can be reserved in advance, walk-in's can be accommodated most days (W-Sat 10am-5pm).

    Our current exhibit 'reCOUNT: Facing our Census' will be on display April 2022-December 2022. Learn about the exhibit at thehistorycenter.net/reCOUNT

    Our museum is open and accessible to everyone and we offer a number of accessible options for visitors with specific needs. Learn more at thehistorycenter.net/accessibility

    If a member of your group has sensory sensitivities or physical/visual/auditory limitations please reach out to us with any questions or concerns about our exhibits and the space. We're happy to offer adjustments and options to ensure an enjoyable visit for everyone.

    Request an Exhibit Hall Scavenger Hunt, coloring pages, or museum activity sheet from the front desk when you check in for added fun for all ages!

    Our suggested admission price is $10 per adult, $4 per child. Your contribution is important for our continued ability to provide a public educational space within the community. No one will be prevented from visiting due to an inability to pay. Donations can be made during booking or in person.

    All visitors are encouraged to wear masks inside Tompkins Center for History & Culture. Our visitors include young audiences and others who are unable to be vaccinated. We appreciate your respect and awareness in supporting our Health & Safety Protocols to keep museum visits worry-free and accessible for everyone.

    Museum staff sanitize all touched surfaces in the museum daily. Review our full safety procedures at thehistorycenter.net/health

    *We try to accommodate visiting groups outside our normal operating hours when possible. Please contact community@thehistorycenter.net if you'd like to visit the museum or schedule a group field trip outside our normal operating hours. *

    Health & Safety

    The History Center is requesting that all visitors continue to wear masks inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture. Our visitors include young audiences and others who are unable to be vaccinated. We appreciate your respect and awareness in following our Health & Safety Protocols to keep all our visitors safe.

    If you are concerned or are particularly vulnerable to the virus, please email us and we are happy to schedule private visit for you to explore the museum in a worry free way. Your comfort and safety is our number one priority!

    History Center staff will sanitize all touched surfaces within the Exhibit Hall daily.

    Please do not schedule a visit if you or any member of your group are awaiting results from a COVID-19 test due to symptoms or potential exposure, or were recently in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

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    LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    Our museum is located in the traditional and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' Nation (often known by the mispronunciation Cayuga), one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Learn more at thehistorycenter.net/land-acknowledgment.

    • Fri, October 14, 2022
    • (EDT)
    • Sat, October 29, 2022
    • (EDT)
    • 16 sessions
    • Bernie Milton Pavilion


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    UPCOMING TOUR DATES: 10/14, 10/15, 10/20, 10/21, 10/22, 10/27, 10/28, and 10/29

    Tours begin at 6pm and 7:30pm on each date. All tours meet on the Ithaca Commons.

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    Tickets are $15/person. Pre-registration required.

    REGISTER HERE

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    Although Ithaca might be better known for its gorges, vibrant community, and colleges, it also holds a macabre past. Find yourself face to face with the most haunted archival items in our collections (original murder masks, and items from unsolved crimes!) and explore the Haunted History of Downtown Ithaca with Heritage Ambassadors Sherri La Torre and Ben Sandberg. Dive into true stories of murder, jealousy, and insanity drawn directly from our archival collections. This program is for ages 16 to 116.

    The tour will take about 1 hour of walking in Downtown Ithaca. Group size is limited, and distancing and mask wearing among participants will be strictly enforced.

    Explore more of our Haunted October events at The History Center at thehistorycenter.net/october

    PHYSICAL ACCESSIBILITY - Our Haunted History tours cover about 1 mile of paved road, and sidewalks. Recommended for those who can walk or stand for long periods with a support device. Certain sidewalks are uneven - this tour is not recommended for wheelchair users.

    CANCELLATION POLICY - This program supports educational programming from The History Center. We are unable to accommodate cancellations or refund ticket prices as we depend on these funds, however if you contact us 24 hours in advance we are happy to re-schedule to any of our other upcoming guided tours or programs (thehistorycenter.net/tours).

    WEATHER POLICY - If there is inclement weather predicted for the day of the tour, we will decide by 9am the morning of the tour whether to cancel or go ahead. If the tour is cancelled we will offer a later rain date to all registrants or refund your ticket price in full.

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    LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    This event will take place in the traditional and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' Nation (often known by the mispronunciation Cayuga), one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Learn more at thehistorycenter.net/land-acknowledgement.

Follow @TompkinsHistory on any platform for local history news!

Rectangular Image of a Poster that reads "reCount: Facing Our Census Exhibition April 1st 2022"

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The History Center in Tompkins County and all of our programs occur on the traditional and contemporary lands of the Gayogohó:nǫˀ Nation (also as Cayuga), one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (sometimes called the Iroquois Confederacy). It is important for each of us to understand the long-standing history that has brought us to reside on this land and to seek to understand our place within that history, including the history of forced relocation and disenfranchisement experienced by the Gayogohó:nǫˀ who remain a sovereign nation and continue the stewardship of their traditional lands to this day.

Learn More

Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

Gayogohó:nǫˀ Territory

Hours

Exhibit Hall Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm - CLOSED Sun-Tues

Cornell Local History Research Library & Archives - By appointment only. Please contact archives@thehistorycenter.net

Contact 

Email: Refer to Contact page for individual emails, General inquiries to community@thehistorycenter.net

Phone: 607-273-8284

Web: thehistorycenter.net

Find us on social media @tompkinshistory

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