• Immigrants awaiting inspection in front of Ellis Island's Main Building

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Ellis Island is open on a limited basis while repairs continue.

    Ellis Island has reopened on a limited basis. Due to the nature of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy parts of the historic Main Building and museum, including most of the exhibits and both elevators, remain closed at this time. More »

History & Culture

Welcome to Ellis Island!

From 1892 to 1924, Ellis Island was America's largest and most active immigration station, where over 12 million immigrants were processed. On average, the inspection process took approximately 3-7 hours. For the vast majority of immigrants, Ellis Island truly was an "Island of Hope" - the first stop on their way to new opportunities and experiences in America. For the rest, it became the "Island of Tears" - a place where families were separated and individuals were denied entry into this country.


Meet some of the "PEOPLE" who helped to make up the story of Ellis Island such as the workers who kept Ellis Island running, and helped immigrants make their way into America.


The "PLACES" in Ellis Island's timeline show us how people have utilized this speck of land in New York Harbor for hundreds of years.


The "STORIES" of Ellis Island's 'unsung' immigrants speak to all of us. Read some of these stories here.


Our extensive "COLLECTIONS" help us learn about the histories of both Ellis and Liberty Islands through tangible objects.


Here are additional resources to learn more about immigration.


A Bibliography of books about Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Did You Know?


Most Americans remember Bob Hope for his work in the entertainment business as a comedian, actor, dancer and singer, as well as his work with the American troops abroad. Few people know that Bob Hope was an immigrant from England who came here with his family and passed inspection at Ellis Island on March 30, 1908, at the age of 5. (center of photo) More...