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

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

Ground Floor

Large pile of trunks, bags and baskets typical of the type of baggage brought by immigrants through Ellis Island.

Luggage and trunks typical to those brought by immigrants as they were processed at Ellis Island.

Statue of Liberty NM, National Park Service

Baggage Room

Once off the ferries, immigrants crowded through the main entrance of Ellis Island into this room where they could check their baggage. With thousands of people being inspected every day, keeping track of everyone's belongings was a major logistical problem and lost baggage a common complaint. Some immigrants, refusing to check their possessions, insisted on carrying them through the entire inspection routine.

 
Historic image showing baggage handlers moving cargo in the Baggage Room.
Men working in the Baggage Room.
Statue of Liberty NM, National Park Service
 

"Journeys: The Peopling of America 1550 – 1890"

"Journeys" explores the early history of immigration before Ellis Island opened as an immigration station. It examines how immigration, both voluntary and involuntary, shaped the early landscape of this country and introduces visitors to the diverse groups of people, who, before 1890, populated the land that would become the United States.

 
Visitors viewing the Struggle and Survival section of the Journeys: Peopling of America, 1550-1890 exhibit.
Journeys: Peopling of America, 1550-1890.
Statue of Liberty NM, National Park Service
 

Did You Know?

Southside of Ellis Island

Ellis Island's south side contains 25 buildings that are mostly unrestored. These structures included general hospitals, isolation and psychiatric facilities for immigrants needing treatment or isolation. The U.S. Public Health Service staffed these facilities during the station's operation. More...