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Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration

The Immigrant Experience Comes Alive

The museum is located in the Main Building of the former immigration station complex. The French Renaissance Revival structure, restored to its 1918 - 1924 appearance, tells the moving tales of the 12 million immigrants who entered America through the golden door of Ellis Island. Today, the descendants of those immigrants account for almost half of the American people. In addition, the newly completed Peopling of America Center bookends the Ellis Island era by chronicling immigration to America before the processing station opened in 1892 and after it closed in 1954, right up to the present.


The audio tour, with more than 120 hours of contents and 2,000 audio stop segments, chronicles Ellis Island in three parts: The Ellis Experience; Journeys: The Peopling of America; and Journeys: New Eras of Immigration. Available at the Acoustiguide desk, the audio tour comes in 12 languages, an American Sign Language (ASL) version, and an Audio Descriptive (AD) version. A family-friendly tour is also offered. 

Museum Highlights

  • The museum's self-guided exhibits chronicle Ellis Island's role in immigration history and include artifacts, photographs, prints, videos, interactive displays, oral histories, and temporary exhibits.
  • The World Migration Globe feaures a radiant sphere which illustrates migration patterns around the world throughout human history.
  • Journeys: The Peopling of America - 1550s - 1890 is an exhibit dedicated to exploring the earliest arrivals pre-dating the Ellis Island Era, 1550-1890. Located in the historic Railroad Ticket Office, visitors can move through the various galleries displaying  each stage  of the immigrant journey.
  • The Journey: New Eras of Immigration focuses on immigration from 1954 to present times. Exhibits use dynamic media and interactive elements to display the post-war immigration movement and changing demographic trends over the decades.
  • The American Family Immigration History Center®  is an exciting interactive area, where you can access the passenger records of the ships that landed almost 65 million immigrants, crew members and other travelers at the Port of New York and Ellis Island from 1820 to 1957.
  • The American Immigrant Wall of Honor® overlooks the Statue of Liberty behind a beautiful view of the the New York skyline. It is a permanent exhibit of individual or family names celebrating the immigrant experience.  It is  the only place in the United States where an individual can honor his or her family heritage  at a National Monument.
  • The American Flag of Faces is located in the museum's main entrance hall, and is an interactive, animated display, populated with images uploaded by individuals and families, which creates  a montage of the American flag.
  • Award-winning film documentary "Island of Hope, Island of Tears" 

 Plan Your Trip to Ellis Island Today!



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