Statue of Liberty

Educational Resources

Tools for learning more about the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Your Family Heritage

Tips, Tutorials & Recommendations

Through its mission, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is committed to fostering knowledge and interest in the history of these two great American monuments. While nothing can replace an in-person visit, SOLEIF’s library of remote learning experiences offers a taste. Among the resources you will find:

  • A step-by-step tutorial and downloadable tip sheet for using the Passenger Search database to discover your family’s connection to Ellis Island
  • Videos vignettes exploring the Ellis Island immigrant experience
  • Virtual experiences, including one that takes you inside the Statue of Liberty for an unprecedented look at her history, construction, and views of NY Harbor
  • A Lady Liberty Art Project
  • Links to recommended webinars, activities, crafts, and educational materials
Genealogy Research Tips

Embarking On Your Genealogical Journey

Looking for help jumpstarting your Genealogical Journey?  The Foundation’s Dedicated Passenger Search service teams you with our research experts to uncover answers to about your family history.

For tips on searching the Foundation’s Passenger Records, download our Tips & Tricks Guide. Created by our Family History Center researchers, this resource will help you make the most of our database.

Want more strategies for family sleuthing? Genealogist Megan Smolenyak compiled a list of recommendations based on her companion book to the hit show “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Explore additional resources in our Genealogy Primer!

Webinars & Podcasts

Oral History How-Tos

Oral histories are a valuable tool for capturing and safeguarding your family’s story. Join Jackie Schalk, Director of our American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island, as she and Joshua Taylor of the NY Genealogical and Biographical Society speak with genealogy experts from around the world about Oral History best practices. Episodes are available on the Foundation’s Facebook page.

20th-Century Immigration to America

Our friends at the New England Historic Genealogical Society are exploring “20th-Century Immigration to America” in a 5-part online conference. A live Q&A takes place on Saturday, November 21 from 2:00 – 3:30 PM EST. All five classes and the Q&A will be recorded and available to registrants through February 2021.

VIDEO TUTORIALS
Passenger Search

How to Search Our Database

 

Dedicated Passenger Search

Let us do the research for you!

Immigration Timeline

The United States is called a Nation of Immigrants. This resource offers a snapshot of the causes and consequences of immigration from Colonial time through today.

You can learn much more about America’s immigration history by visiting the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

STORIES FROM ELLIS

Understanding Manifests:
Names Crossed Out

 

Dispelling Myths:
Names Not Changed at Ellis Island

 

What Happened When
Immigrants were Detained at Ellis

What Happened When
A Stowaway was Discovered

What Happened When
A Baby was Born at Sea

What Happened When
A Passenger Died at Sea

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES

Statue of Liberty
AR Experience

Discover the Statue of Liberty in a new and innovative way with this unique AR experience, available on iOS. A rich curation of stories and visual media walks you through more than 150 years of the Statue’s history — from her origins in France in 1865 to the opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum. Among the features: Torch Panorama, Making of Liberty, and Historical Timeline. The app also offers two immersive audio experiences.

Lady Liberty
Virtual Tour

This first-of-its-kind interactive experience takes you on a virtual tour of Lady Liberty. “Climb” up her double helix stairway and examine the folds of the copper and armature bars that form the Statue’s shape. From the Crown, take in images of New York Harbor. Even access the arm and Torch, which have been closed to the public since 1916. The Museum tour features majestic images of the Inspiration Gallery and Liberty Vista.

Virtual Liberty
Museum Visit

Step inside the Statue of Liberty Museum to explore the Inspiration Gallery, home to the Statue’s original torch, and Engagement Gallery where exhibits tell the story of Lady Liberty’s history. With this virtual experience you can make your way to the Liberty Vista for breathtaking views of New York Harbor and gaze upon the Statue from the Island’s pedestrian walkway.

Through the
Golden Door

Our National Park Service partners collaborated with Scholastic to create a virtual field trip to Ellis Island. Spend time with Rangers from the National Park Service to learn about the history of Ellis Island and the immigrant experience at the nation’s first Federal Immigration Station.

Poetry

The New Colossus

This reciting of The New Colossus features the voices of visitors to Liberty Island.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

-Emma Lazarus
November 2, 1883

Harbor

Stranger, I find myself lost. Let us watch this new age gather
Overhead. Let’s see what rains onto unaccustomed skin.
Once, we were pelt, fur, hide. Only the seasons mattered. Now,
We shiver, crying out. Not from winter, but the fear in skin.
I see the tall masts of history in horizon fog. They dip
And rise. The tides they ride swell under human skin.
Be my guest. Drink tea, taste fruit and bread. The meat rests,
Cooling on the slab, but see how wine has flushed our skin?
This land you’ve sought is peopled with enemies and kin.
You’ll learn to read the whole long story written on skin.
We passengers wait. Our restless waiting forms an island.
One woman stands, sings. Her music enters through my skin.
Stranger, you’re the words to a hymn I’ve only ever hummed.
Come. Let’s erase the distance between skin and skin.

-Tracy K. Smith
United States Poet Laureate, 2017-2019

Liberty is a Work of Art

A "Historic" Art Project

From head to toe, the Statue of Liberty stands at 111′ 1″. Add another 40 feet if you’re measuring all the way to the top of her torch. The Statue truly is monumental and memorable.

Whether you have seen the Statue of Liberty in person or just in pictures and movies, a vision of Lady Liberty has probably stayed with you.  Since the Statue’s dedication on October 28, 1886, her image has been replicated countless times. From sculptures to paintings to photographs – and even cakes! – artists and everyday people have shared their interpretations of this global icon.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation invites you to create your own Liberty Masterpiece. We will share select submissions on our website and social media. (Please note that this is not a contest or competition.)

For younger artists, we offer a sketch of Lady Liberty for coloring. Embrace the Statue’s famous Petina or grab a rainbow of colors and use your imagination!

We look forward to seeing YOUR vision.

Download the flyer here
Coloring project download is available here
Email your art to WorkOfArt@LibertyEllisFoundation.org

To learn more about Liberty’s history and legacy, scroll down for Virtual Experiences and to read the poems The New Colossus and Harbor, and visit our Statue of Liberty information pages.

The Learning Zone

Teachers, parents, or anyone curious to learn more about these two great American monuments will find ample resources among the National Park Service’s curriculum materials.

Use Math skills to measure How Big is the Statue of Liberty? ARTifact! incorporates Language Arts and Social Studies. Tap your inner scientist with Preserving a Symbol to learn why the Statue changed colors.

What will you and your kids learn today?