TOURS      GIVE   



Dress up in period costumes, give tours on local history, delve into our archival collections, or learn how to geo-rectify maps from the 19th century!

Whether you're a student, historian, archivist, or just a local with a passion for history we have volunteer positions to fit every schedule and interest!

Details on each position can be found below.


We are always looking for docents to greet the public and share knowledge with visitors in the Exhibit Hall. No previous experience or familiarity with local history necessary.

The opportunity is flexible; docents can specialize in one topic or a particular exhibit, give weekly tours, or volunteer only during the semester or summer if they live elsewhere for part of the year. Volunteer shifts can range from 2-10 hours per week, and are organized in coordination with docents availability and personal needs.

Contact with interest or questions.

Serving as a docent is eligible for community service/service-learning hours, Federal Work-Study employment, and college internship credits. We have had docents ages 15 to 70+, with all levels of education and sorts of interests. No prior experience in museums or history is needed! We offer ongoing, optional trainings on topics and skills of interest to docents. 

**Please use the application link below also for the Assistant to The History Center internship position.**

Exhibit Hall Volunteer Application

We encourage alternate funding sources to support placements with us. The community organizations and programs below may have funding opportunities available to compensate adult and graduate-level workers for time spent working with The History Center. Availability may vary, and placements must be confirmed in agreement with a History Center staff member. 


Build the Tompkins County HistoryForge Project

Visit the Volunteer with HistoryForge page to learn more about these opportunities, or contact the HistoryForge Project Director at

  • Census Transcription
  • Georectification/Map Layer Construction
  • Recording Information Encoded in Historic Maps
  • Adding Archival Resources

HistoryForge Volunteer Application


The History Center accepts a limited number of volunteers and student workers each term working on a variety of initiatives and research efforts. All our projects can qualify as internship and/or course credits. Contact the staff member in charge of the volunteer program you're interested in to communicate about expectations and course requirements. There is no prior experience requirement for internships with The History Center in Tompkins County. At this time we can only accept applications from student interns ages 14 and older. Please contact with any questions. 

2024 Winter & Spring Internships             Volunteer Application

The following campuses and community organizations may have funding opportunities available to compensate internships and/or research projects. We encourage student workers to pursue alternate funding sources to support their projects and time with The History Center. 

We also qualify for Federal Work Study placements for Cornell University and the Ithaca College (Off-Campus Community Service program).



Do you love to listen to stories? Help us transcribe our recorded Oral Histories of Tompkins County interviews to add to our archival audio collections.

We are currently unable to train new volunteers on how to do oral history transcriptions, and can only accept volunteers for this project with previous audio transcription experience. Volunteers can work remotely for transcription work. This opportunity can also become an internship or independent project. Learn more about our Oral History collections here

If you are interested in working with our Oral History collections, please contact

For more information about other potential volunteer and internship opportunities, please contact the appropriate department.

Exhibit Hall Docents, Heritage Ambassadors, Communications, Marketing, Visitor Services, Oral History, Community Outreach, & General Volunteer Interest:
Zoë Van Nostrand, 607 273 8284 ext. 229 or

Archivists, Researchers, Research Library, Archives:
Donna Eschenbrenner, 607 273 8284 ext. 228 or

Youth Education, Youth Programs, Eight Square Schoolhouse - School Marms & Masters:
Jane Koestler,

HistoryForge, Census Transcription, Mapping, Geo-rectification, Archival digitization

Eve Snyder,

Exhibit Curation, Photography, Graphic Design:
Cindy Kjellander-Cantu, 607 273-8284 ext. 223 or

Fundraising/Development, Board of Directors:
Ben Sandberg, 607 273 8284 ext. 222 or

Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ 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


© Copyright 2020-2023 The History Center in Tompkins County

Web Design by Zoë Van Nostrand

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software
Visit Us