Celebrating the Immigrant: An Administrative History
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I. Documents.

A. Records of the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Most of the documents used came from the records of the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1952 to 1982. These documents were found primarily at the Statue of Liberty National Monument on Liberty Island in four locations: 1) the Artifact Room in the base of the statue, 2) the Library and Workroom of the American Museum of Immigration (adjacent to the office of the Curator of AMI) in the base of the statue, 3) the Administration Building on Liberty Island, in and adjacent to the office of the Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, and 4) the Storage Area, located in one of the residence apartments on the island.

The Artifact Room contains most of the documents pertaining to the statue and to the planning, development and building of the American Museum of Immigration up to the time of its opening in 1972. In addition, the author placed in the Artifact Room a "Duplicates File," containing all documents used in this history of which there were two or more copies. The Library and Workroom contain the files of the curator of the AMI. Most of the documents concerning the immigration museum since 1972 are there, as well as, in many cases, in the "Duplicates File." The documents found in the Administration Building deal mostly with Ellis Island in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s; while the Storage Area contains documents pertaining to the statue, the museum and Ellis Island, some of them duplicates of records in the three other places on the island.

In addition to these four collections of NPS records on Liberty Island, this history contains information drawn from Department of Interior, NPS documents located in the Bayonne Records Center of the National Archives. The records found there date from the 1950s and 1960s.

B. Records of the American Museum of Immigration, Inc. The author consulted and used papers of the AMI, Inc., stored in the Artifact Room at the base of the statue on Liberty Island. Contained in a set of file drawers along one wall of the room and marked AMI, Inc., the records pertain to fund-raising, planning and development for the immigration museum.

C. Records of the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. Found in Special Collections, New York Public Library, those provided information, about the genesis of the museum of immigration.

II. Reports, Histories, and Press Releases Prepared for or by the U.S. Department of the Interior, NPS.

This history relies heavily on material contained in reports, histories, and press releases, all of which can be obtained on Liberty Island in one or the other of the four locations described earlier.

A. Reports

1. French-American Committee for Restoration of the Statue of Liberty, "French Technical Report on Restoring the Statue of Liberty: Preliminary Findings," by Philippe Grandjean, Jean Levron, Pierre Tissier, Jacques Moutard, December 1981.

2. French-American Committee for Restoration of the Statue of Liberty, "Report to the National Park Service," 1982.

These two reports, clipped together, can be found in the "Duplicates File," Artifact Room.

3. Thomas M. Pitkin, American Museum of Immigration, STLI NM, Preliminary Draft Prospectus for the American Museum of Immigration, U.S. Department of the Interior, NPS, 1955. A copy of this report is in the "Duplicates File."

4. Superintendents of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and/or the New York City NPS Group, monthly and annual reports.

These reports, by a variety of names, are in one or another of the four locations on Liberty Island. They supply the best narrative of day-to-day happenings at the STLI NM. Particularly useful for this history were:

a. N. H. Foster, Superintendent's Monthly Narrative Reports, 1960s

b. J. A. Townsley, Monthly Narrative Reports, 1960s

c. L. McClanahan, Monthly Narrative Reports, late 1960s

d. H. G. Schmidt, Monthly Narrative Reports, 1960s

e. L. Garcia-Curbelo, Unit Manager, Bi-Weekly Highlights and Monthly High lights, 1970s

f. D. L. Moffitt, Superintendent's Annual Reports, 1976 to 1982

5. Reports on Ellis Island

A Series of these, dating from 1964, make it possible to trace the NPS's problems with, attitudes toward, and plans for this historic site from the time it became a part of the STLI NM. The following were used in this history, and copies of them can all be found on Liberty Island:

a. U.S. Department of Interior, NPS, Ellis Island: A Study Report on Ellis Island (prepared for the Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations, Senate Committee on Government Operations), June 1964

b. _____, A Master Plan for Ellis Island, June 1968

c. _____, "Ellis Island Options," April 1973

d. _____, "Ellis Island Condition Survey," by URS/Madigan-Praeger, Inc., May 1976

e. _____, "Ellis Study," May 1978

f. _____, "Ellis Island, STLI NM, "Interpretive Prospectus," June 1982

6. Reports on Both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Three recent reports on conditions at and plans for development of these two sites, provided much of the information contained in the concluding chapters.

a. U.S. Department of the Interior, NPS, Analysis of Alternatives (Environmental Assessment) for the General Management Plan, December 1980, STLI, NY/NJ

b. _____, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, "Summary of the Analysis of Alternatives for Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island," December 1980

c._____, General Management Plan, September 1982, STLI NM, NY/NJ

B. Histories

1. U.S. Department of the Interior, NPS, Statue of Liberty National Monument: Its Origin, Development and Administration, by Walter Hugins, 1958.

This history, relating the story of the statue from its beginnings to the early 1950s, was particularly useful in writing the Introduction and Chapter I.

2. _____, (draft chapter), "Administrative History of Ellis Island, 1954-1982," by Harlan Unrau, 1982.

C. Press Releases

1. U.S. Department of the Interior, NPS, Press Releases, 1952 to 1982.

Copies of these can be found in "Press Release" Files on Liberty Island in the Administration Building, Storage Area, Curator's Files, and in the "Duplicates File."

III. Newspapers

Clippings of many news articles are contained in the NPS records on Liberty Island. In cases where no copy was found in NPS files, the author read the article in the newspapers collections of the New York Public Library. Newpapers from which material for this history was taken include:

Baltimore, Sun; Bergen (N.J.), Record; Boston, Hellenic Chronicle; Chicago, Austinite; Galesburg, Daily Register-Mail; Hoo Sharor (newsletter, Armenian General Benevolent Union); Jersey Journal; Long Island, Newsday; Press; Star-Journal; Newark, Evening News; Star-Ledger; New York, Daily News; Herald Tribune; Journal-American; Post; New York Times; New York, World; World-Telegram; World-Telegram and Sun; In u irer; The Evening Bulletin; Polish-American; Polish-American Journal; Seattle, Post-Intelligencer; Staten Island, Advance; St. Louis, Globe Democrat; The Downtown Herald; The Kansas City Star; Wall Street Journal; Washington, Post.

IV. Other Works

A. Robert A. Caro, The Power Broker (New York, 1974). Caro describes the fight to save Castle Clinton, which led to the idea of creating a museum of immigration.

B. Thomas Pitkin, Keepers of the Gate (New York, 1975). This work contains much useful information about the administration of Ellis Island before and for a short while after the NPS took possession of it.

C. Jeannie Mandelker, "The Restoration of Ellis Island" (Unpublished M.A. thesis, Columbia University, 1976). A copy is in "EI--Feasibility Study File," Drawer 2, Administration Building, Liberty Island.

V. Oral and written interviews.

All interviews were conducted by the author or William Zeisel of The Institute for Research in History. The written comments were made in answer to the author's questions or as comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this history. The oral interviews were held in person or by telephone, with the person interviewed responding to the author's questions.


1. Marilyn Keeler, administrative officer, STLI NM, Spring, 1983.

2. David L. Moffitt, superintendent, STLI NM, December 3, 1982, spring, 1983.

3. Paul O. Weinbaum, former curator, AMI, STLI NM, September 15, 1983, December 1983, January 20, 1984, April 4, 1984, May 24, 1984.

4. Edward Kallop, Jr., former curator, AMI, STLI NM, January 6, 1983, September 7, 1983, April 4, 1984.

5. Paul Kinney, curator, AMI, STLI NM, September 27, 1983.

B. AMI, Inc.

1. Alfred H. Horowitz, chairman, Executive Committee, AMI, Inc., September 7, 1983.

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Last Updated: 24-Sep-2001