ICSM 10500 Ithaca College History

Founded in 1892

Ithaca College was founded as the Ithaca Conservatory of Music in 1892. The Williams School of Expression and Dramatic Art was added in 1897. Other schools were added in the early 20th century; all were merged into Ithaca College in 1931. The Conservatory and College were located in a variety of buildings in downtown Ithaca until the present campus on South Hill was built beginning in 1960.

This guide is intended to provide access to resources about the history of Ithaca College.

Online Resources

The Ithacan is available from 1931 through May 2002. Select advanced search for full text searches or browse by date.

The C. Hadley Smith Photograph Collection  includes photographs and negatives from 1951 into the 1980's. The online portion, titled Ithaca College Photographs, is available from New York Heritage. The collection also includes older images.

A list of many of the buildings on the South Hill campus with dates of construction is available on the archives website.

College history on the web

Here is a brief summary of the College's history
Former Presidents of the College

Books in the library

Architectural History of the IC Campus

  • Campus buildings -- a list of buildings on campus with full name, dates of construction, groundbreaking, dedication, etc.
  • The C. Hadley Smith Photograph Collection -- search for the name of the building you are interested in to see photos from the 1960's
  • The Ithacan contains stories about the new construction on campus as it unfolded. Be wary of the April 1 edition that declares that West Tower is tipping over -- it's an April Fool's joke!
  •   The Ithaca journal  often had stories that covered construction at Ithaca College. If you know the approximate date for the construction, pull out a reel of microfilm and skim it!
  • The Ithaca College Scrapbook Collection has newspaper clippings about the College, including those construction articles mentioned above. Come to the archives to look at these.
  • Building subject files. These are paper files in the archives that may contain articles, images, dedication programs or other items relating to a building. Again, come to the archives to look at these.

Other resources

Many other resources are available in the College Archives on the 5th floor of Gannett Center. See the Archives web site for a taste of what is available. Search the online catalog for "Ithaca College" and note which titles are located in the archives. Come and visit!

Contact Us

picture of Bridget Bower

Bridget Bower

College Archivist
(607) 274-3096

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Class exercise

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