History Center in Tompkins County

110 North Tioga Street, Suite 204A
Ithaca, New York 14850
Phone: 607-273-8284

History Center in Tompkins County


The History Center in Tompkins County is the hub of local history for this small Central New York county. Located in Ithaca, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, The History Center preserves its rich collections of three-dimensional objects, books, scrapbooks, historic maps, manuscript collections, genealogy files, and over 100,000 historic photographs, all highlighting the history of Tompkins County. Access to the collections is available through The History Center’s Research Library, which is open to the public Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 11:00 to 5:00. Many collections, besides those photo collections on New York Heritage, are available for research or just browsing.

History Center in Tompkins County is a member of the South Central Regional Library Council.


Covid-19 Pandemic Photographs

Photographs of Tompkins County people and places in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Images taken by various members of the local community.

COVID-19 Pandemic Summaries and Resources

Summaries of Covid-19-related information and resources for the Tompkins County community.

David Marcham Photograph Collection

Photographs of passenger service railroads in the southern Finger Lakes region in the 1940s and 1950s.

Historic Paintings Unwrapped

A choice painting collection that dates to the early 19th century. It includes works by such notables as Henry Walton, whose lithographs depict mid-19th century life, and Alison Mason Kingsbury Bishop, an exemplar of a mid-twentieth century modernist style. From 2009 to early 2010 it was on display in a successful rotating exhibit “Historic Paintings Unwrapped” featuring different works each month.

Historical Maps of Ithaca and Tompkins County

A collection of three maps all depicting the city of Ithaca during the late 19th century.

Oral Histories of Tompkins County

This collection contains Oral Histories from people living and working in Tompkins County, New York.

Political Study Club of Ithaca Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks containing meeting minutes, programs, brochures, newspaper clippings and photographs concerning a late 19th and early 20th century women’s suffrage organization in Ithaca, New York. Some materials reference New York State and national suffrage matters.

General Store 201 E State Street

A collection of photographs of residences, divided by architectural style, in Ithaca and Tompkins County, NY from the General Photo File of the History Center in Tompkins County.

Southside Community Center Photo Collection

A collection of photographs from the groundbreaking and early years of the Southside Community Center, some taken by photographers from the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal program that supported the creation of the Center.

Tompkins County Schoolhouse Photos

Photographs of Tompkins County schools, school groups, and classes during the late 19th and 20th centuries. All taken from The History Center in Tompkins County’s General Photo Collection.

Tompkins County Voter Enrollment Records

Lists of registered voters in Tompkins County from the 1910s and 1920s, complete with addresses and party affiliation.

Verne Morton Photograph Collection

Verne Morton’s photography concentrated on the day-to-day activities of the residents of Groton and the surrounding area. With his cumbersome glass plate view camera and tripod, Morton took remarkable photographs of farm life, family activities, and children in school and at play.