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The History Center Exhibit Hall is CLOSED January 1st-February 2nd 2023 for the installation of our next exhibit Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County. 

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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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, January 04, 2023
    • Thu, February 02, 2023

    The History Center Exhibit Hall is CLOSED to the public from January 1st- February 2nd for the installation of our new exhibit Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County which opens to the public Friday February 3rd. 


    Private appointments in our Research Library & Archives are available by appointment - please contact archives@thehistorycenter.net for details. 

    • Sat, January 07, 2023
    • Sat, June 17, 2023
    • 12 sessions
    • 110 North Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850 - Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

    WHERE

    HistoryForge Transcription sessions happen every other Saturday from 11am-1pm. They happen in-person at the Tompkins Center for History & Culture on the Ithaca Commons usually in the Second Floor Conference Room.

    Be sure you're on the email list to stay in the loop! APPLICATION REQUIRED for new volunteers - We need to do some behind-the-scenes prep-work for each session! 

    What We'll Be Doing

    Help build the HistoryForge database for Tompkins County! We hold community transcription sessions twice a month on Saturdays from 11-1. In 2023 we will be working on the census records 1950 & 1870, as well as for the Town of Caroline (1880-1950), and Trumansburg (1880-1950)!

    To help with our behind the scenes processing of volunteer materials, please complete the volunteer form at least 4 days before the session.

    Complete Volunteer Application

    HistoryForge is a digital mapping and transcription project from The History Center in Tompkins County. We need help digitizing information from the 1940 Ithaca census to add to our HistoryForge database! Volunteers will read through the handwritten census notes from 1940, re-type/and or scan information about individuals, buildings, and businesses from that time period.

    YOU WILL NEED: A laptop or desktop computer, stable internet connection. We have a limited number of volunteer laptops available.

    About HistoryForge

    HistoryForge is a digital history project from The History Center in Tompkins County which combines historic maps and photos with census records of the people who lived in Ithaca, creating a way to visualize the history of Ithaca in the early 1900s. Learn more about the project here and the start of our database creation.

    Not available Saturdays but interested?
    Contact Eve at HistoryForge@thehistorycenter.net


    The HistoryForge project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.

    The HistoryForge: Mapping Census Data to Visualize Local History grant was awarded in 2022-2024 through NEH's Digital Humanities Advancement Grant program. The project was also selected to receive funding through NEH's A More Perfect Union initiative.

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    LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
    This project is digitizing post-colonization records of Tompkins County, which is located in the traditional and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ Nation (often known by the mispronunciation Cayuga), one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Learn more at thehistorycenter.net/land-acknowledgment.

    • Thu, February 02, 2023
    • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N Tioga St Ithaca NY 14850

    FIRST GLIMPSE! Exhibit opening of 'Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County' on Thursday February 2nd. 

    This event is by invitation only. 

    Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County

    • Fri, February 03, 2023
    • 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    • Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N Tioga St Ithaca NY 14850

    Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County

    Join us for OPENING NIGHT of 'Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County.' Knot Sew Fast pulls from the extensive textile and fabric arts collections held by The History Center to lay out the stories these functional artworks tell about Tompkins County history.

    EXHIBIT OPENS FRIDAY FEBRUARY 3RD AT 10AM

    Join us for First Friday Gallery Night from 5-8pm to discover our new Tompkins history exhibit!

    This event is open to the public. We are a mask-friendly space, and encourage visitors to pursue Health & Safety practices most comfortable for them.

    --------------------------

    Piecing together the story of quilts encourages us to consider shifts in technology, industry, transportation, and materials over generations of local life. As we unravel (figuratively) each quilt we consider the hands that did the work, and the stories they captured in every knot and stitch. In addition to historic quilts from rural townships of Tompkins, there will be interactive patternmaking stations. The practice of quilting was a skill developed and practiced equally by historic Ithacan city-dwellers, as well as our rural township communities of Trumansburg, Groton, Dryden, Lansing, Caroline, Newfield, and Danby. The merging of this functional skill, and the hundreds of hours and handwork displayed in each quilt shares narratives about community, history, home, and skilled labor.

    Learn more at thehistorycenter.net/Knot-Sew-Fast. On display February - August 2023.

    .
    LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
    This event will occur in the traditional and contemporary lands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ Nation (Cayuga), one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Learn more at thehistorycenter.net/land-acknowledgement.

    • Fri, February 03, 2023
    • Sat, June 10, 2023
    • 77 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. 

    HOLIDAY HOURS - Exhibit Hall will be closed: all Election Days, Juneteenth

    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).

    CURRENT EXHIBIT - 'Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County' will be on display February 2023-August 2023. Learn about the exhibit at thehistorycenter.net/knot-sew-fast.

    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 a mask friendly space. Staff and visitors can wear masks if they desire, but it is no longer required.

    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 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.

    .

    LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

    Our museum is located in the traditional and contemporary lands of the Gayogohó:nǫˀ Nation (Cayuga), one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Learn more at thehistorycenter.net/land-acknowledgement.

    • Fri, February 03, 2023
    • Fri, December 01, 2023
    • 11 sessions
    • Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 N. Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850

    6/2

    The History Center is a regular participant in First Friday Gallery Nights (downtownithaca.com/gallerynightithaca) in Downtown Ithaca. Gallery Night is a walkable art show featuring the latest artworks created by highly skilled local and regional artists. Gallery Night varies from month to month, but you can expect to see a range of in-person shows, a walkable tour of window displays, or artwork in storefront windows throughout Downtown.

    (No Gallery Night in January)

    2/3 - Exhibit OPENING of Knot Sew Fast: Patchwork of Tompkins County

    3/3 - Knot Sew Fast on display and Vintage Sewing Machine Demo with Wendy Skinner

    4/7 - Knot Sew Fast on display (Textile demo TBA)

    5/5 - Knot Sew Fast on display (Textile demo TBA)

    6/2 - EXHIBIT OPENING of Native Conversations FLX (CAP ArtSpace), and Knot Sew Fast on display (Exhibit Hall) - ITHACA FESTIVAL WEEKEND!

    7/1 - Knot Sew Fast on display (Textile demo TBA)

    8/4 - FINAL WEEK of Knot Sew Fast (Textile demo TBA)

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    9/1 - Exhibit OPENING of 'A Sporting Chance'

    10/6 - A Sporting Chance on display

    11/3 -  A Sporting Chance on display

    12/1 -  A Sporting Chance on display

    2024

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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 Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ ˀ Nation (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 Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ (Cayuga) 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

Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀTerritory

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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