Email with any comments or feedback. 


**Use Event Tags like "Youth Program" to find the event you're looking for!

Upcoming Events

    • Sat, August 08, 2020
    • 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM (UTC-02:00)
    • Online

    Join us for a livestream unveiling the historical marker in front of Alex Haley's birthplace on Cascadilla St. from The History Center in Tompkins County Facebook page on August 8th at 11am. Members of the Alex Haley Memorial Project will speak about Haley's life and impact.

    This is a virtual program only.
    The Alex Haley Memorial Project, in collaboration with The History Center in Tompkins County, will live stream a ceremony to honor Ithaca-born Alex Haley on August 8th, at 11am. Alex Haley is a celebrated author, best known for his 1967 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The ceremony will unveil a historic place sign on Cascadilla Street marking the house where he was born. The ceremony will include thoughts from members of the Alex Haley Memorial Project, the Legacy Foundation which provided funding for the sign, The History Center in Tompkins County, and local representatives. Due to an abundance of caution, interested audiences are encouraged to participate through a livestream on The History Center’s Facebook page. A sign language interpreter will be present to ensure equal access to the livestream.

    Alex Haley was born in Ithaca on August 11th, 1921. His parents were enrolled respectively at Cornell University and the Ithaca Conservatory of Music. The connection to Tompkins County higher institutions of education was unusual for Black Americans in that era, and is an important reminder of the continuing systemic inequalities that persist today. His work Roots: The Saga of An American Family and the subsequent television adaption is one of the most influential and important U.S. works in the last century.
    The unveiling ceremony on August 8th closely marks the 99th anniversary of Alex Haley’s birth. The Alex Haley Memorial Project and The History Center in Tompkins County look forward to additional programming next summer for the centennial anniversary.
    The History Center in Tompkins County helps communities use the tools of history to understand the past, gain perspective on the present, and play an informed role in shaping the future.

    For additional information, please contact:
    Benjamin Sandberg, Executive Director
    Phone: (607) 273-8284, ext. 222

    • Sat, August 08, 2020
    • (UTC-02:00)
    • Sat, August 22, 2020
    • (UTC-02:00)
    • 2 sessions
    • Online

    Help build the HistoryForge database! We've transitioned our transcription bees to virtual group sessions online while our community is practicing physical distancing for public health and safety.

    Please complete the Volunteer Application here: for access to the Zoom conference link. To help with our behind the scenes processing of volunteer materials, please complete the volunteer form at least 4 days before the session.

    HistoryForge is a digital mapping and transcription project from The History Center in Tompkins County. We need help digitizing information from the 1930 Ithaca census to add to our HistoryForge database! Volunteers will read through the handwritten census notes from 1930, re-type/and or scan information about individuals, buildings, and businesses from that time period.

    YOU WILL NEED: A laptop or desktop computer, stable internet connection

    HistoryForge is a digital history project from The History Center in Tompkins County which combines historic maps and photos with census records of the people who lived in Ithaca, creating a way to visualize the history of Ithaca in the early 1900s. Learn more about the project here: and the start of our database creation here:

    Not available Saturdays but interested? Contact Eve at

    • Thu, August 13, 2020
    • 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (UTC-02:00)
    • Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 North Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850

    After five months we are very excited to welcome the public back to our Exhibit Hall! We've re-arranged our systems to ensure health, safety, and comfort for all our staff and visitors. Please review our new guidelines and schedule a visit!

    All visits must be pre-scheduled at We will not permit walk-ins. Please review our COVID-19 safety and sanitation guidelines and protocols. 

    • Sun, August 23, 2020
    • (UTC-02:00)
    • 2 sessions
    • Tompkins Center for History & Culture - 110 North Tioga St, Ithaca NY 14850
    • 10

    Kids (ages 4-12) & families are invited to learn about the famous Ithaca Kitty and the different artistic interpretations the toy has inspired for over a century! Laura Rowley of Illuminated Press will help children create their own prints and greeting cards with laser cut blocks using images from the Ithaca Kitty archives!

    All participants will leave with three high quality greeting cards laser cut by local printer and book artist Laura Rowley of Illuminated Press, printed on locally made Combat Paper by local artist Nate Lewis. Participants may also make and take home as many practice prints on scrap paper as they would like. Scrap paper will be provided, but participants may also bring items from home if they'd like to test how they print! 

    WHEN: Sunday August 23rd - Session 1 is from 10am-12pm, Session 2 is from 1pm-3pm

    WHERE: CAP ArtSpace in the Tompkins Center for History & Culture on the Ithaca Commons

    PRESENTERS: Z Van Nostrand (The History Center), Laura Rowley (Illuminated Press)

    This FREE program is intended for kids ages 4-12. Participants must pre-register, preference for registrants will go to youth although we will accept a waitlist. Registration is limited to 15 children per session and all participants (regardless of age) must wear masks for the entire program. All materials will be sanitized between sessions. 

    If you have registered but become unable to attend, please contact so we can offer your space to others on the waitlist. 

**Can't seem to find the event you're looking for? Sharing a building with 12 other wonderful organizations can be confusing when navigating calendars; it might be that the event you're looking for is hosted by another organization but not The History Center. Explore the Tompkins Center for History & Culture page for links to go directly to our building partners websites.

Tours on local architecture are likely hosted by our friends at Historic Ithaca; you can register and pay for tours directly through their website


The History Center Blog

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

© Copyright 2020 The History Center in Tompkins County

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software