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Visit The History Center

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In accordance with recommendations from local health officials The History Center in Tompkins County Exhibit Hall and Cornell Local Research Library are closed to the public during the covid-19 pandemic. Staff will continue working remotely and can be reached through their individual emails. All events originally scheduled during this time have been postponed to a later date. 



Both the exhibit hall and research library are always free and open to the public.

The archival collections can be accessed by the public any time the library is open without an appointment. An in-person visit offers you the most professional assistance and archival access. However, if you cannot come to the library, some services can be accessed from a distance. Contact Archives@TheHistoryCenter.Net with questions. 

If you are looking to bring a large group for a tour, contact Community@TheHistoryCenter.Net.

If you are looking to visit and then rent a room in the building, contact Director@TheHistoryCenter.Net.

If you are planning to bring an educational group or school trip to the exhibit hall, or would like to visit the Eight Square Schoolhouse in Dryden, contact EightSquare@TheHistoryCenter.Net for more information.

When you arrive in the exhibit hall, there are several printed resources to help you navigate the new space: a visitor guide, an audio guide, the most recent HistoryHappenings eNewsletter, and our indigenous reading list. You can also download any of these resources in advance here.

The local Inclusive Recreation Resource Center's evaluation of our handicap accessibility can be found here. We are adding signage around the building and updates to our website, but it's all a work in progress so we hope for your patience. Email Community@TheHistoryCenter.Net with any questions or feedback.

 If you are considering donating historical papers or artifacts to The History Center, thank you! Contact Archives@TheHistoryCenter.Net if the potential donation is two-dimensional, such as photographs, books, and journals, or Design@TheHistoryCenter.Net if it is three-dimensional, such as textiles, tools, and musical instruments.


We look forward to sharing the history of Tompkins County with you.



The History Center is now operating out of the Tompkins Center for History & Culture at 110 North Tioga Street, Ithaca, New York. Visitors can enter through the front door adjacent to the Bernie Milton Pavilion. Street and garage parking are available on surrounding streets. The Seneca Street TCAT stop is only steps away.

The Tompkins Center is a new heritage tourism center, located in Bank Alley on the Ithaca Commons and shared with several other non-profit organizations. The renovated former Tompkins Trust bank was purchased by Tompkins County Legislature in honor of the county's bicentennial, to provide a starting point for locals and visitors to go from Ithaca out to explore the surrounding areas.

The History Center's exhibit hall, Cornell Local History Research Library, and Thaler/Howell Foundation Archives are on the first (ground) floor. The History Center's offices are on the second floor, accessible by elevator or stairs.

The ground floor also contains the new locations of the Downtown Visitor Center and Community Arts Partnership's ArtSpace, within the Ithaca College Gallery. Find more information on their hours, the other partners in the building, and more on the Tompkins Center's website



Exhibit hall

Sunday 12:00 - 4:00 PM
Closed Monday
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday*, Saturday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
*Open until 8:00 PM for First Friday Gallery Nights

Cornell Local History Research Library & Thaler/Howell Foundation Archives

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM




Driving & Parking

Find 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.


Public Transport

All major TCAT bus routes go to Seneca Street. Cross the street and head down the large alley leading to the Commons. The History Center is on the right side of the street, just after the M&T Bank. 

Bike racks are available nearby on the Commons. Bikes can be rented locally at Ithaca Youth Bureau or via the LimeBike app.

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