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, 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?
The Guastavino Ceiling in the Great Hall: Rafael Guastavino Moreno (1842 –1908) was a Spanish architect and builder. He created a "Tile Arch System" patented in the United States in 1885 used for constructing robust, self-supporting arches and architectural vaults using interlocking terracotta tiles and layers of mortar, it is found in some of the most prominent Beaux-Arts landmarks across the United States