The museum collection consists of approximately 390,000 individual items systematically recorded and accessible through over 48,000 computerized records and over 1 million archival records. The collection is organized into the categories of history, archeology and natural history.
National Park Service, Statue of Liberty NM
The park archives contains over 1 million items including monographs, manuscripts, rare books, government reports, oral histories, architectural drawings, blue prints, and a film collection of slides, negatives and prints.
The museum collection is primarily site-related materials that the National Park Service (NPS) is legally mandated to collect and preserve and contributes to the Park's interpretive themes. Items in the museum collection are preserved so that they may be available for research, study, temporary loan and exhibit for the educational benefit of the public.
Oral History Collection
Begun in 1973, the oral history project has grown to number over 1,700 interviews. Each interview includes an examination of everyday life in the country of origin, family history, reasons for coming to the United States, the journey to the existing port, experiences on the ship, arrival and processing at the Ellis Island facility, and an in-depth look at the adjustment to living in the United States. Approximately fifty interviews are added yearly by full time and volunteer staff members.
Bob Hope Memorial Research Library
The Bob Hope Memorial Research Library contains books, unpublished manuscripts, periodicals, oral history interviews, photographs, video, poetry and research files relating to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, immigration history and the National Park Service.
Did You Know?
Although most immigrants processed at Ellis Island stayed between three and five hours, about 20% stayed overnight in dormitory rooms until their cases could be cleared. Many immigrants found these accommodations a big improvement over the severe conditions of traveling to America in "steerage".