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> Faces, Places and Spaces

Bicentennial List of Upcoming Events


"My Tompkins" Mapping Project

Illustrate a pre-printed map of Tompkins County, highlighting the places that are important in your life.  From where to find the best ice cream to where you met your spouse, to the places you play, worship, shop or explore, completed maps should be a reflection of your personal connection with Tompkins County.

Completed maps will join those of other county residents, past and current, in an exhibit at the Tompkins County Public Library, other county libraries and The History Center in Tompkins County and be archived to show future residents what life in our community was like in 2017.

There is no prescribed way to complete a map, so feel free to get creative - use crayons, markers, drawings, photographs, paint or graphics, mark a special spot on every town or multiple spots in only the town in which you live.

Completed maps should be returned, in-person or by mail, to the Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 or scanned and e-mailed to

Sample Map    Create your map

Here are some examples of "My Tompkins' maps on display
at the Tompkins County Public Library.
Add yours to our archive today!


HistoryForge is a new, powerful and exciting initiative of The History Center to explore the history of Ithaca, New York (and eventually more of Tompkins County).

HistoryForge allows you to see the population of Ithaca in 1910 by providing extensive records for each individual inhabitant.  HistoryForge locates them in buildings and neighborhoods on a mosaic of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of 1910.  The dynamic website integrates digital technology, census data, and public involvement.  The goal of HistoryForge is to enable its users to discover and develop a sense of place, to discover, imagine and narrate that place's history through engagement with its historical landscape.

Names on the Land

This collection of place name histories takes its point of departure from Place Names of Tompkins County, the 2008 reference book created by Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen and the county's municipal historians.  In October 2016, a core group of team members began work updating the Place Names Book.  Organized by themes, the new book will add to and update the place name entries and include an interactive online component as well.

How we name, define, and use a place changes over time.  To capture the dynamic nature of place, residents and visitors are encouraged to share their stories about significant places in Tompkins County.  Do you have a story about why a town or road or other place got its name?  Do you have an informal name for a place in Tompkins County that's not found on any map?  Have you written about or photographed a place that's deak to your heart and want to share it with others?  We'd love to hear from you.  Contact to participate in the project.