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The History Center blog shares research and findings about local history, excerpts from the History Center Archives, information about upcoming exhibits and other opportunities on how to get involved with The History Center in Tompkins County. To learn more or view the archival materials mentioned, visit us in downtown Ithaca, follow us on social media @TompkinsHistory, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter History Happenings

Listen to a local history tour!

Thu, November 02, 2023 4:43 PM | Anonymous

Listen to a local history tour!

If you've been supporting and following The History Center since 2013 we hope you've had the opportunity to learn about and engage with the over 40 self-guided history tours we've made available on the free PocketSights app. These tours have expanded from the collaborative Ithaca Heritage tourism grant (2013-2019) that created the first 20+ tours, and now include driving and cycling tours on different history themes across the county. 

Since the start of the PocketSights collaboration, we've gotten feedback from our local history enthusiasts who don't like apps, or have difficulty using the platform. With accessibility in mind, over the last 9 months our Senior Community Service Employment worker Lucius has been recording audio versions for these tours, recording segments on the literal hundreds of local stops highlighted through these tours.

Through Lucius's commitment to this project with over 500 hours worked so far, we now have audio versions for 32 of the self-guided tours developed in collaboration by The History CenterHistoric Ithaca, and the Wharton Studio Museum since 2013. The audio versions of the tours can be listed to for free on The History Center's SoundCloud profile by selecting the "Playlists" tab on our page, or accessed as links in each PocketSights tour stop. We will have a web page dedicated to the audio playlists for these tours available in 2024.

We are continuing with this project in the coming year, and are committed to continuing to make local history content available in multiple formats so more of our community can engage with the rich history of Tompkins County! Learn more at

We are especially grateful to the Associates for Training & Development (A4TD) program that has funded Lucius' work-training placement with us this year as part of the Older Americans Act, and for supporting workers-over-50 in our community learn new skills to rejoin the workforce.

Prior to this project Lucius had never before done recording work, and only recently moved to Tompkins County. This project has hugely expanded his technical skills and knowledge of the community.

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