Welcome! The History Center is requiring 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



The History Center is striving to improve the accessibility of our collections, programs, and learning materials. Details on theBlack and white photograph of male and female students working on wood cutouts. Image taken circa 1938. Image from Ithaca's Open Air School Sight Saving Class. School began in 1917 to focus on students who were at high risk for tuberculosis. Sight Saving Class was begun to focus on students with visual impairments.  physical accessibility of our space can be reviewed on the Inclusive Recreation Resource Center's profile of our building and Exhibit Hall. The History Center is now operating out of the Tompkins Center for History & Culture, a heritage tourism space in downtown Ithaca that we share with 12 other local non-profits. Visitors can enter through the front door adjacent to the Bernie Milton Pavilion. Street and garage parking (Seneca Street or Green Street garages recommended) are available on surrounding streets. The Seneca Street TCAT bus stop is less than a block away from our main entrance. We have one handicap parking space available at the back of the building. If you are planning a visit and would like to use this space, please contact us in advance so we can open the back entrance doors for you. 

We have implemented stringent new Health & Safety Protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health of our visitors, staff, and volunteers. If you have any questions about the safety or sanitation measures in place, please reach out to us via email or phone (607-273-8284). 


Handicap accessible restrooms are available on the first and second floor (second floor can be reached via stairs or elevator). Gender neutral private bathrooms are available on the second floor. We have a private room for nursing mothers available on the third floor (accessible via stairs or elevator).


Driving & Parking

Find driving 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 Seneca Street and head down the large alley past the Bernie Milton Pavilion leading to the Ithaca Commons. The History Center is on the right side of the alley, just after the M&T Bank. 

Bike racks are available nearby on the Commons. Bikes can be rented locally through Ithaca Bike Rental.



We are in the process of adding closed captions for all our learning videos and programs on our YouTube channel, written text and audio guides for museum exhibits, transcripts for all oral histories available in our archives and on New York Digital Heritage, alt-text for all images on our website, and creating engaging alternative learning methods for all the programs we offer through the museum.

If there are specific projects or programs you are interested in, please contact us at and we will prioritize making those materials available to you in an accessible way. (Updated as of October 12th 2021). If you would like to volunteer with us on one of these projects please reach out!


Many Exhibit Hall displays have audio components, and there is a continuous audio loop playing in the museum as part of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ Creation Story display. If you would like the sound turned off during your visit please contact us ahead of time at and we can make those adjustments before you arrive. We can also provide a list and map of the current displays that have audio components in advance.


 The History Center in Tompkins County offers free admission to the Exhibit Hall during all our regular open hours, although we do accept donations to support our events and programs. The History Center is a proud member of Museums for All which offers free and reduced admission to over 600 museums across the United States for individuals who receive food assistance and/or SNAP benefits. We reserve a few spaces for each of our fee programs and events for SNAP/EBT card holders. Details for how to access these reduced fee tickets will be in the registration information for each program. 

We are also a Blue Star Museums member, offering free and reduced admission to over 2,000 museums and historic sites across the United States for military personnel and families between Memorial Day and Arbor Day every year. 

The History Center Research Library & Archives are free for all residents of Tompkins County, although we do charge a modest fee for out-of-town researchers. If these fees are prohibitive for individuals to pursue their research project with us, please reach out and we will come to a solution. 

If any of our programs are cost prohibitive for your family or community group to attend or engage with please reach out to us at

Inclusive Recreation Resource Center's profile of our handicap accessibility here.

This profile includes detailed information regarding the physical layout of the Exhibit Hall and Research Library, as well as alternate methods for engaging with our exhibits and materials for individuals with impaired sight or hearing. Print-out visitor guides and auditory visitor guides can be requested at the docent desk to the right of the front entrance to the Exhibit Hall. 

We do not have a parking lot associated with our building; however, visitors with physical and/or movement impairment are encouraged to contact us at in advance to use one of two staff parking spaces by the back entrance of our building. These spaces may not be used without advance communication. 

Email with any questions or feedback.

Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

Gayogo̱hó:nǫ' Territory


Exhibit Hall Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm - 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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