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Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration

Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration


Ellis Island, New York Harbor

As part of the National Park Service, the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration tells the story of how New York’s Ellis Island was the gateway for millions of immigrants arriving to America from 1890-1954. Although the focus of the museum covers the years 1890-1954, when the island operated as the processing center in New York Harbor, a number of exhibitions tell the entire history of immigration to the United States from the 16th-century to the present.  In addition to visiting the Registry Room, or “Great Hall” where as many as 5,000 people would file through daily, current exhibitions include:

  • “Journeys: The Peopling of America 1550-1890” which explores the history of immigration before Ellis Island opened in 1890
  • “Through America’s Gate” which includes a restoration of the Hearing Room
  • “Peak Immigration Years: 1880-1924” when over 24 million people entered the country
  • “Silent Voices” which depicts the years after the government closed Ellis Island in 1954 and before restoration work began
  • “The Journey: New Eras of Immigration” the museum’s latest exhibition which covers immigration from 1954 to the present day

NOTE: Visitors arrive and depart Ellis Island via ferries which leave Battery Park in lower Manhattan at 1 Battery Place. During peak months (April – September), wait times to board any ferry can be over 90 minutes. All visitors are subject to security screening, identical to an airport, before before boarding the ferry. – Tim Wright


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