VISITING THE ELLIS ISLAND IMMIGRATION MUSEUM
VISITATION ALERT: Ellis Island is open to visitors while the National Park Service continues to make repairs after Hurricane Sandy. Although some areas are restricted, visitors can stop in the American Family Immigration History Center to research their family immigration records and explore the Great Hall, "Journeys: The Peopling of America 1550-1890" exhibit which tells the story of immigration prior to Ellis's opening in 1892, and The American Immigrant Wall of Honor. Visitors can also enjoy the audio tour, join a ranger program, and watch the award-winning documentary "Island of Hope, Island of Tears."
The Immigrant Experience Comes Alive
The museum is located in the Main Building of the former immigration station
complex and 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.
The 45-minute Audio Tour, available in nine languages, invites visitors to relive the immigrant experience as if they were the "new arrival" and is ideal for individuals with limited time. Additional tour options describe
exhibits in more detail via in-depth interviews with historians, architects and archaeologists. A special children's tour is narrated by "Marty the Muskrat" and is offered in five languages.
- 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 American Family Immigration History Center®
- The American Immigrant Wall of Honor®
- Journeys: The Peopling of America®Center, 1550 - 1890
- The American Flag of Faces™
- Award-winning film documentary "Island of Hope, Island of Tears"
Journeys: The Peopling of America® Center, 1550 - 1890
The first phase of the Peopling of
America® Center, which explores arrivals before the Ellis Island Era, is now open in the historic
Railroad Ticket Office. Visitors move sequentially through the galleries - Leaving, Making the Trip, Arrival,
Struggle & Survival, and Building a Nation - which also present the larger issues of immigration that remain still
today, such as tensions between newcomers and natives and cultural persistence.
The American Flag of FacesTM
The American Flag of Faces located in the museum's main entrance hall is an
animated red, white and blue flag filled with a montage of images submitted by individuals of their families,
their ancestors, or even themselves. Visitors can search by name to call up a photo, which will then dynamically
appear in the center of the Flag. To submit family photos, go
to The American Flag of Faces.
The American Immigrant Wall of Honor®
A special feature of the Ellis Island museum, the
Wall of Honor overlooks the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline
and is the longest wall of names in the world. This unique display pays tribute
to America's rich cultural heritage, celebrating American immigration from its
earliest beginnings right up to the present day, and contains more than 700,000
names inscribed for posterity by family members and friends.
The American Family Immigration History Center®
This is an exciting interactive area at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
You can access the passenger records of the ships that landed some 22 million
immigrants, crewmembers, and other passengers at the Port of New York and Ellis
Island from 1892 to 1924. More than 100 million Americans may find records of
their family's beginnings in the new world here. To prepare for your search,
gather as much information as you can, such as: the passenger's first and last
names; approximate year of arrival; "ethnicity" (which may include race,
nationality, and religion); approximate age on arrival; ship of travel; port of
departure; and whether the passenger traveled with other family members.
Experienced volunteers can provide guidance so visitors can view manifests and
ship images from their ancestor's journey.Featured on the Today Show
Changing Exhibition Gallery -- Third Floor
West Wing - First Floor
Getting to Ellis Island
Ellis Island is one of the country's most important historic sites and also one
of the most heavily visited monuments. Carefully planning your trip will make
it more enjoyable. Statue Cruises provides ferry transportation to Ellis Island
from Battery Park in New York and Liberty State Park in New Jersey from 9:00
a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, with extended hours in the summers. For ticket rates
and availability and schedule information, call 1-877-LADY TIX or visit
The audio tour is included with the ticket and can be picked up at the audio desk on Ellis Island.