TOURS      GIVE   



The History Center’s is committed to making history “real” and meaningful by underscoring how past events shape present realities.

While the focus of our programs is the history of Tompkins County, we strive to tie local developments to the nation’s history.

To this end, our programs are student-centered, use primary sources and original artifacts where appropriate, and seek to strengthen the general public’s knowledge of the issues which define our times, as well as fostering an appreciation for the past.

In addition to our living history program at the Eight Square Schoolhouse, we host field trips, homeschool groups, collaborative programming, and coordinate with local educators. 

Our programs and exhibits are open to youth of all abilities. If you have a child with sensory sensitivities or physical needs please contact us for program specific details and accessibility options.

For more information on any of our programs, or to schedule a visit, contact: or 607-273-8284 ext. 229

A link/image to download the home history scavenger hunt

Available Activities for All Ages (3-103):A link/image to download the Tompkins County coloring book

Explore our History at Home activity sets for local history learning adventures!

Perry Ground giving a presentation to a group of students in the CAP ArtSpace

Please visit our Events Calendar to see all our upcoming events and registration details. 


Add adventure and fun to your museum visit by reserving one of our Explore the Museum Activity Crates! Image of the content of an activity crate including various reading materials and activity sheets Filled with puzzles, books, crafting projects, coloring pages, and scavenger hunts for the museum. 

Activity Crates can be checked out for $5 when scheduling your visit through our booking site FareHarbor.


HEALTH & SAFETY: Following each use crates and activities will be quarantined for 3 days before going through a full sanitation process. Thanks to grant funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, we were able to purchase multiple sets of activities in each crate, allowing us to rotate them while maintaining necessary health and safety standards.


New York Council on the Arts logo These materials were purchased with funds from a New York State Council on the Arts 2020 Youth Programming grant. 

Image of two kids looking at a map with a magnifying glass

Image of two kids sitting in desks at the children’s education area in the exhibit hall.

Image of a group of children standing in front of the Tommy Morse plane in the exhibit hall



Image of a crate with various history-related children’s books and an Ithaca Kitty plush marked “Borrow a Book”Enjoy story time during your museum visit! We have over 30 children's book titles related to local history available at our front desk! Books cover a range of topics and reading levels. 

Children and families can "check out" up to three books to read during their visit. Check the front jacket cover for information about how these books connect to Tompkins County history! 


  • Working at a museum or historic site
  • Erie Canal history
  • Haudenosaunee history & indigenous stories
  • Black American history and historic people who visited Tompkins County
  • Finger Lakes history
  • Amish & Mennonite stories and experiences
  • Aviation history and famous fliers!
  • Suffrage and famous women who visited Tompkins County

All books must be returned before you leave. Thank you to local booksellers Autumn Leaves Used Books and Buffalo Street Books for providing us with such a wonderful selection!


An image with information about the History at Home page with downloadable home learning resources

An image advertising the home history scavenger hunt

An image advertising the learning to fly with tommy video series

A link/image to download a short biography about Dorothy Cotton

A link/image to download a short biography about Frederick Douglass

Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ Territory


Exhibit Hall Wednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm - CLOSED Sun-Tues

Cornell Local History Research Library & Archives - By appointment only. Please contact


Email: Refer to Contact page for individual emails, General inquiries to

Phone: 607-273-8284


Find us on social media @tompkinshistory


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