Statue of Liberty

Educational Resources

Tools for learning more about the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Your Family Heritage

Tips, Tutorials & Recommendations

Through its mission, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is committed to fostering knowledge and interest in the history of these two great American monuments. While nothing can replace an in-person visit, SOLEIF’s library of remote learning experiences offers a taste. Among the resources you will find:

  • Virtual experiences, including one that takes you inside the Statue of Liberty for an unprecedented look at her history, construction, and views of NY Harbor
  • Tips for using the Passenger Search database to discover your family’s connection to Ellis Island
  • Videos vignettes exploring the Ellis Island immigrant experience
  • A Lady Liberty Art Project
  • Links to recommended webinars, activities, crafts, and educational materials

An Ellis Island Expedition

Join five Park Rangers as they explore the history and significance of Ellis Island. This five-part video series, produced by our partners at the National Park Service, discusses the immigrant experience from the Transatlantic Journey to the Inspection Process to the start of life in America.

NYC Landmarks

Ellis, history map, history trail, historic 

It seems every New York City block was influenced by an immigrant, including many who arrived through Ellis Island. The American Family Immigration History Center database documents the arrival of these notable citizens. This Google Map pinpoints and provides background on locations that demonstrate the impact of these immigrants.

If you’re in the Big Apple, or are just curious, take a real or virtual stroll to see the influence of Ellis Island Immigrants on New York – and the entire country.

Genealogy Research Tips

For tips on searching the Foundation’s Passenger Records, download our Tips & Tricks Guide and find resources in our Genealogy Primer and from genealogist Megan Smolenyak.

For help jumpstarting your Genealogical Journey, become a VOYAGE Member and receive a “Dedicated Passenger Search” session to be teamed with one of our research experts!



Understanding Manifests:
Names Crossed Out


Dispelling Myths:
Names Not Changed at Ellis Island


What Happened When
Immigrants were Detained at Ellis

What Happened When
A Stowaway was Discovered

What Happened When
A Baby was Born at Sea

What Happened When
A Passenger Died at Sea

Passenger Search

How to Search Our Database


Research Resource Guide

Research Tips & Tricks

AFIHC, poster

Statue of Liberty
AR Experience

Discover the Statue of Liberty in a new and innovative way with this unique AR experience, available on iOS. A rich curation of stories and visual media walks you through more than 150 years of the Statue’s history — from her origins in France in 1865 to the opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum. Among the features: Torch Panorama, Making of Liberty, and Historical Timeline. The app also offers two immersive audio experiences.

Lady Liberty
Virtual Tour

This first-of-its-kind interactive experience takes you on a virtual tour of Lady Liberty. “Climb” up her double helix stairway and examine the folds of the copper and armature bars that form the Statue’s shape. From the Crown, take in images of New York Harbor. Even access the arm and Torch, which have been closed to the public since 1916. The Museum tour features majestic images of the Inspiration Gallery and Liberty Vista.

Virtual Liberty
Museum Visit

Step inside the Statue of Liberty Museum to explore the Inspiration Gallery, home to the Statue’s original torch, and Engagement Gallery where exhibits tell the story of Lady Liberty’s history. With this virtual experience you can make your way to the Liberty Vista for breathtaking views of New York Harbor and gaze upon the Statue from the Island’s pedestrian walkway.

Through the
Golden Door

Our National Park Service partners collaborated with Scholastic to create a virtual field trip to Ellis Island. Spend time with Rangers from the National Park Service to learn about the history of Ellis Island and the immigrant experience at the nation’s first Federal Immigration Station.

Views From Lady Liberty

The Foundation, in collaboration with the National Park Service and EarthCam, offers four unique perspectives from the Statue of Liberty, along with a stunning shot of Liberty Island from the shores of Brooklyn. Interactive cameras feature views of New York Harbor, the New York City Skyline, historic Ellis Island, and the Statue itself.

SOL, Statue of Liberty, crown 
View from the "Crown Cam"

The New Colossus

This reciting of The New Colossus features the voices of visitors to Liberty Island.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

-Emma Lazarus
November 2, 1883


Stranger, I find myself lost. Let us watch this new age gather
Overhead. Let’s see what rains onto unaccustomed skin.
Once, we were pelt, fur, hide. Only the seasons mattered. Now,
We shiver, crying out. Not from winter, but the fear in skin.
I see the tall masts of history in horizon fog. They dip
And rise. The tides they ride swell under human skin.
Be my guest. Drink tea, taste fruit and bread. The meat rests,
Cooling on the slab, but see how wine has flushed our skin?
This land you’ve sought is peopled with enemies and kin.
You’ll learn to read the whole long story written on skin.
We passengers wait. Our restless waiting forms an island.
One woman stands, sings. Her music enters through my skin.
Stranger, you’re the words to a hymn I’ve only ever hummed.
Come. Let’s erase the distance between skin and skin.

-Tracy K. Smith
United States Poet Laureate, 2017-2019

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Virtual Backgrounds

Have Some Fun With Your Virtual Meetings

Since 1886, Lady Liberty has stood tall as a reminder of who we are as a nation and the ideals we embrace. Located just past the Statue,  Ellis Island welcomed millions of immigrants and offered the promise of a new life and opportunity.  

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation invites you to transport yourself to Liberty and Ellis Islands. Travel to New York harbor and stand in Liberty’s glow with these virtual backgrounds!

Zoom, or the video platform of your choice, provides directions for saving an image and making the background visible on your computer.

Select images courtesy of EarthCam, Peter Lehrer, National Park Service

Webinars & Podcasts

Oral History How-Tos

Oral histories are a valuable tool for capturing and safeguarding your family’s story. This series of discussions with genealogy experts from around the world offers best practices for capturing Oral Histories. Episodes are available on the Foundation’s Stories From Ellis Island YouTube channel.

Conversations With...

Conversations With… Reflections on Lady Liberty & The Immigrant Experience. Enjoy a discussion between Steve Briganti and Foundation board member Andrew Tisch, a business leader and philanthropist whose book Journeys: An American Story features 72 essays celebrating the vastness and variety of immigration tales in America.

The Learning Zone

Teachers, parents, or anyone curious to learn more about these two great American monuments will find ample resources among the National Park Service’s curriculum materials.

Use Math skills to measure How Big is the Statue of Liberty? ARTifact! incorporates Language Arts and Social Studies. Tap your inner scientist with Preserving a Symbol to learn why the Statue changed colors.

What will you and your kids learn today?