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About this collection

The History Center in Tompkins County is the hub of local history for this small Central New York county. Located in Ithaca, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, The History Center preserves its rich collections of three-dimensional objects, books, scrapbooks, historic maps, manuscript collections, genealogy files, and over 100,000 historic photographs, all highlighting the history of Tompkins County. Access to the collections is available through The History Center’s Research Library, which is open to the public Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, from 11:00 to 5:00. Many collections, besides those photo collections on Tools of History, are available for research, or just browsing.

The History Center helps people use the tools of history to understand Tompkins County's past, gain perspective on the present, and play an informed role in shaping the future.

Historic Paintings

The History Center in Tompkins County, in Ithaca, New York, has a small, rather choice painting collection that dates to the early 19th century. An eclectic mix of landscapes and portraits, oils,watercolors, lithographs, and prints; it’s a rich, colorful portrayal by mostly local artists of thelocal people and places. It includes works by such notables as Henry Walton, whose lithographsdepict mid-19th century life, and Alison Mason Kingsbury Bishop, an exemplar of a mid-twentiethcentury modernist style. From 2009 to early 2010 it was on display in a successful rotating exhibit“Historic Paintings Unwrapped” which featured different works each month.

 
Verne Morton Photographs

This collection consists of almost 12,000 negatives, about half of which are glass plate. This gifted Groton photographer, Verne Morton, worked from 1895 to 1945 documenting rural life in upstate New York. A small sampling of the images from the early glass plate negatives is featured here.

 

 
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