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

    Ellis Island

    Part of Statue of Liberty National Monument NJ,NY

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  • 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 remain closed at this time. The museum's artifacts remain in off-site storage. More »

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?

Angel Island aerial cropped2

From 1910 to 1940, the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay processed approximately 1 million Asian immigrants entering into the US, leading to it sometimes being referred to as "The Ellis Island of the West". Due to the restrictions of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, many immigrants spent years on the island, waiting for entry. Access to the island is by private boat or public ferry from San Francisco, Tiburon or Vallejo. Ferry services are reduced during the winter. More...