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Learning Programs

Let us do the teaching! Designed with New York State Social Studies Learning Standards and Common Core Curriculum in mind, our offerings include Journey to the Past: In My Community, Geography and Early Settlement in Tompkins County. and Haudenosaunee Beadwork: Native and European Contact in New York State. All three foster an appreciation of local history through an understanding of history as past, present and future.

Every Object Has a Story

Designed to answer the questions: “What do history museums really do? What are archives? What are artifacts?” Through discussion about the role of history museums and interaction with historical objects, students will appreciate that history keeps growing every day. Also Included is a behind-the-scenes tour.   ($75/hour for up to 20 adults)

Life in the 1890s – A Hands On Permanent Exhibit

This exhibit features a large scale replica of the Eight Square Schoolhouse interior, a ‘country store’ with sales counter and working cash register, a trunk with dress-up clothes, and recreations from our archival collections. Designed for ages 3 and up, this exhibit will transport children back to the 19th century in a fun and educational way!

History Links Loan Kits

Designed to enhance and supplement Social Studies Learning standards and Common Core curriculum through museum resources, these kits are FREE for teachers, educators, home school and scout groups. There is a 2 week loan limit. Borrowers are responsible for pick up and return of all contents. Please contact the Education Department for reservations and availability.

Inspiring Individuals: African Americans in Tompkins County History

After the Civil War, African Americans continued to struggle for equality throughout the United States. Many people did not want African Americans to be a part of their community. However, numerous brave and determined individuals stood up to oppression and paved the way for those who followed. This History Links resource features a timeline of Tompkins County African American individuals as well as national and local events spanning the years from 1865 through 2011. Students will gain a better understanding of how local events were tied into national events after the Civil War and up to the present day.

Slavery in Tompkins County

Students will learn about the varied connections between slavery and Tompkins County by examining a set of seven panels. The panels, saved from a past History Center exhibit, provide an overview of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and highlights Tompkins County as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The panels also profile three men – one who was enslaved in Caroline, one who escaped to freedom and settled in Ithaca, and one who always lived as a free man. This History Links resource offers a way to integrate local history into the study of United States history.


To learn more about the  Youth Education Programs, contact

Julia Taylor, Director of Youth Education -- (607) 273-8284 x 229

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