Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation
Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island FoundationStatue of Liberty-Ellis Island FoundationStatue of Liberty-Ellis Island FoundationStatue of Liberty-Ellis Island FoundationStatue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation

Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Following the restoration in the 1980's, the Main Building reopened in 1990 as the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, a symbol of America's immigrant heritage. The museum exhibits chronicle Ellis Island's role in immigration history and view it in the context of its time and the still broader context of four centuries of immigration to America.

The exhibits also portray and give voice to the immigrants themselves. Each of their stories is unique and bears witness to the courage and determination that enables men and women to leave their homes and seek new opportunities in an unknown land.

This 100,000 sq. ft. museum on three floors of the Main Building; includes objects, photographs, prints, videos, interactive displays and oral histories. The largest exhibit is the building itself — the imposing French Renaissance Revival structure designed by Boring and Tilton, built in 1900 and restored to its 1918-1924 appearance.

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.

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.

American Immigrant Wall of Honor®
A popular exhibit at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum is the American Immigrant Wall of Honor. The Wall of Honor is located outdoors, just outside the "Peopling of America" exhibit. The Wall honors America's immigrants regardless of when they immigrated or through which port they entered. The Wall is currently inscribed with over 700,000 names, and registrations are currently being accepted for a new phase of the Wall. To have a name inscribed on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor, click here.

American Family Immigration History Center® (AFIHC)
Opened on April 17, 2001, this extensive family history research facility contains the ship passenger records of the over 25 million people who entered through the Port of New York and Ellis Island from 1892-1924, the peak years of immigrant processing at Ellis Island. Visitors are able to access 11 fields of digitized information, as well as view and obtain reproductions of original ship manifests and photos of ships of passage. To prepare for a search, visitors should gather as much information as they 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. Search Passenger Records Now.

The Baggage Room (restored to its 1918-1924 appearance)
Thousands of immigrants crowded into this room on a daily basis where they could check their baggage before climbing the steps to the Registry Room.

Registry Room (restored to its 1918-1924 appearance)
The historic Great Hall, once filled with new arrivals waiting to be inspected and registered by immigration officers, now contains historic benches and reproduction inspector desks. Visitors can re-live the experience of 12 million people processed through this cavernous space.

Through America's Gate (restored to its 1911 appearance)
Exhibits illustrate the processing of immigrants at Ellis Island, includes the Special Inquiry Room, refurbished to 1911.

Peak Immigration Years
The history of immigration to the United States between 1880-1924.

Dormitory Room (3rd floor; restored and refurbished to its 1908 appearance)

Ellis Island Chronicles
Overview of the island's growth and development from prehistory to the closing of all island facilities in 1954.

Treasures from Home®
Cherished personal objects, photographs and papers brought from the homeland are on display.

Silent Voices
Photos and artifacts detail the immigrant station's closing and abandonment after 1954.

Restoring a Landmark
The largest historic restoration in U.S. history, funded and directed by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation from 1985-1990, transformed the ruins into a national museum of immigration

Hearing Room
Officially known as the Board of Special Inquiry, this room in 2 West has been carefully restored to its appearance during the years 1908-1911. Immigrants not passing inspection would have a final opportunity to have their case overturned in one of three hearing rooms at Ellis Island. Re-enactments of actual cases are performed in this historic space.

Temporary Exhibits

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.

Click here for more information on the history of Ellis Island.

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