Welcome to The History Center's Research Library! Enjoy a brief video tour of the Cornell Local History Research Library and take a peek behind the scenes of the Thaler/Howell Foundation Archive. Discover what kinds of things you can find doing research in our collections.

The Cornell Local History Research Library, named in honor of Ezra Cornell, is a place for discovery about Tompkins County's past. Located on the first floor of the Tompkins Center for History & Culture overlooking theExhibit Hall, use of the research space and access to archival materials is free to all Tompkins County residents ($8/day for out of county residents). Individual research appointments can be arranged by

Due to COVID-19 the Research Library will be closed to the public except by appointment for the remainder of 2020. 

The History Center’s research library serves casual browsers, scholars, school children, local historians, genealogists, and professional researchers. Along with providing access to diverse archival materials on local history and culture, The History Center is equipped to make professional-quality photographic copy prints and scans of photographs from our extensive photo collections. Researchers are also allowed to use digital cameras without flash, at the discretion of the archivist. 

Additional local history materials, including microfilm, books, and research assistance are available at the Tompkins County Public Library, either in person or online.

Contact our archivist at with any questions.

Educators are encouraged to contact us to schedule a field trip for their class to get an inside look at our Archives.

Please explore the local 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, and 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, and when possible they may 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


Exhibit Hall -  Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm / Sunday - 10am-3pm - CLOSED M-W

Cornell Local History Research Library & Thaler/Howell 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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