VISITATION ALERT: Ellis Island is open to visitors while the National Park Service continues to make repairs after Hurricane Sandy. Although some areas are restricted, visitors can stop in the American Family Immigration History Center to research their family immigration records and explore the Great Hall, "Journeys: The Peopling of America 1550-1890" exhibit which tells the story of immigration prior to Ellis's opening in 1892, and The American Immigrant Wall of Honor. Visitors can also enjoy the audio tour, join a ranger program, and watch the award-winning documentary "Island of Hope, Island of Tears."
Island Immigration Museum
the restoration in the 1980's, the Main Building reopened in 1990 as the Ellis
Island Immigration Museum, a symbol of America's immigrant heritage. The museum
exhibits chronicle Ellis Island's role in immigration history and view it in
the context of its time and the still broader context of four centuries of
immigration to America.
The exhibits also
portray and give voice to the immigrants themselves. Each of their stories is
unique and bears witness to the courage and determination that enables men and
women to leave their homes and seek new opportunities in an unknown land.
This 100,000 sq. ft. museum on three floors of the Main Building; includes
objects, photographs, prints, videos, interactive displays and oral histories.
The largest exhibit is the building itself — the imposing French Renaissance
Revival structure designed by Boring and Tilton, built in 1900 and restored to
its 1918-1924 appearance.
The 45-minute Audio Tour, available in nine languages, invites visitors to relive the immigrant experience as if they were the "new arrival" and is ideal for individuals with limited time. Additional tour options describe
exhibits in more detail via in-depth interviews with historians, architects and archaeologists. A special children’s tour is narrated by "Marty the Muskrat" and is offered in five languages.
Journeys: The Peopling of America® Center, 1550 – 1890
The first phase of the Peopling of
America® Center, which explores arrivals before the Ellis Island Era, is now open in the historic
Railroad Ticket Office. Visitors move sequentially through the galleries—Leaving, Making the Trip, Arrival,
Struggle & Survival, and Building a Nation—which also present the larger issues of immigration that remain still
today, such as tensions between newcomers and natives and cultural persistence.
The American Flag of FacesTM
The American Flag of Faces™ located in the museum’s main entrance hall is an
animated red, white and blue flag filled with a montage of images submitted by individuals of their families,
their ancestors, or even themselves. Visitors can search by name to call up a photo, which will then dynamically
appear in the center of the Flag. To submit family photos, go
to The American Flag of Faces™.
Immigrant Wall of Honor®
popular exhibit at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is the American
Immigrant Wall of Honor. The Wall of Honor is located outdoors, just outside
the "Peopling of America" exhibit. The Wall honors America's immigrants
regardless of when they immigrated or through which port they entered. The Wall
is currently inscribed with over 700,000 names, and registrations are currently
being accepted for a new phase of the Wall.
To have a name inscribed on the American Immigrant
Wall of Honor, click here.
Family Immigration History Center® (AFIHC)
on April 17, 2001, this extensive family history research facility contains the ship
passenger records of the over 25 million people who entered through the Port of
New York and Ellis Island from 1892-1924, the peak years of immigrant
processing at Ellis Island. Visitors are able to access 11 fields of digitized
information, as well as view and obtain reproductions of original ship
manifests and photos of ships of passage. To prepare for a search, visitors
should gather as much information as they can, such as: the passenger's first
and last names; approximate year of arrival; "ethnicity" (which may include
race, nationality, and religion); approximate age on arrival; ship of travel;
port of departure; and whether the passenger traveled with other family
Search Passenger Records Now.
(restored to its 1918-1924 appearance)
Thousands of immigrants crowded into this room on a daily basis where they
could check their baggage before climbing the steps to the Registry Room.
Room (restored to
The historic Great
Hall, once filled with new arrivals waiting to be inspected and
registered by immigration officers, now contains historic benches and
reproduction inspector desks. Visitors can re-live the experience of 12 million
people processed through this cavernous space.
America's Gate (restored to its 1911 appearance)
illustrate the processing of immigrants at Ellis Island, includes the Special
Inquiry Room, refurbished to 1911.
history of immigration to the United States between 1880-1924.
Room (3rd floor; restored and refurbished to its 1908 appearance)
of the island's growth and development from prehistory to the closing of all
island facilities in 1954.
personal objects, photographs and papers brought from the homeland are on
and artifacts detail the immigrant station's closing and abandonment after
largest historic restoration in U.S. history, funded and directed by The Statue
of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation from 1985-1990, transformed the ruins into a
national museum of immigration
known as the Board of Special Inquiry, this room in 2 West has been carefully
restored to its appearance during the years 1908-1911. Immigrants not passing
inspection would have a final opportunity to have their case overturned in one
of three hearing rooms at Ellis Island. Re-enactments of actual cases are
performed in this historic space.
Changing Exhibition Gallery -- Third Floor
West Wing – First Floor
Getting to Ellis Island
Ellis Island is one of the country's most important historic sites and also one of the most heavily
visited monuments. Carefully planning your trip will make it more enjoyable. Statue Cruises provides
ferry transportation to Ellis Island from Battery Park in New York and Liberty State Park in New Jersey
from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, with extended hours in the summers. For ticket rates and availability
and schedule information, call 1-877-LADY TIX or visit www.statuecruises.com. The audio tour is included with the ticket and can be picked up at the audio desk on Ellis Island.
here for more information on the history of Ellis Island.