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's historic photograph collection is actually a collection of collections. It comprises several different individual collections separated by type, by subject, and sometimes by photographer. There are more than 100,000 photographs in all, and this crown jewel of the archives is among the most frequently used of all our research materials. Some of them are digitized and can be seen on the New York Heritage website. 

Our photograph collections include over 100,000 images - Reprints available!

  • General photo collection
  • Family albums
  • Photograph albums
  • Local professional photographers' collections
  • Identified Individuals photograph collection
  • Stereoviews & cartes-de-visite
  • Family, Business, and Organizations Collections
  • Daguerreotypes, tintypes, and ambrotypes

    Contact our archivist at with any questions about our holdings. Or schedule an appointment to visit the Research LibraryAccess to the archival collections is free to all Tompkins County residents, $10/day fee for out of county researchers. 

    Beginning on September 10, 2021 all users of The History Center's Research Library will need to show proof of vaccination to be allowed into the space.  Proof of vaccination may include a CDC issued card or a New York State Excelsior Pass. Unvaccinated researchers may coordinate research requests remotely with the support of our on-site archivist. 

    New York Heritage Digital Collections

    New York Heritage is a collaborative project of eight of the nine Empire State Network library councils which supports the digital holding and archiving of materials from other institutions on their online database. The History Center archives include over 100,000 photographs; each year through grant support and staff labor we are able to digitize select collections and make them available through this valuable online resource. 


    Professional Photographer Collections in The History Center Archives

    • C. Hadley Smith Photograph Collection
    • Charles Howes Collection
    • Clayton Smith Collection
    • Curt Forester Photograph Collection
    • Gordon Buzzell Collection
    • Henry Head Collection
    • J. F. Drake Collection
    • John Spires Collection
    • John Troy Collection
    • Joseph Burritt Collection
    • Louise Boyle Collection
    • Marion Wesp Collection
    • Ralph Baker Collection
    • Seth Sheldon Collection
    • Sol Goldberg Photograph Collection
    • Verne Morton Photograph Collection


    With a Jewelers Eye - 1860's

    Verne Morton Early 1900's

    Sol Goldberg - 1956-'65

    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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