SPOTLIGHT ON: Ellis Island
By Christine Bruzzese
Island was the entry place for more than 12 million
immigrants from January 1892 to 1924. The ancestors
of many New Yorkers and other Americans arrived at Ellis
Island to begin new lives. Today, visitors can tour
the museum and other restored buildings. In honor of
Immigrant Heritage Week, April 17-24, 2012, this article
features some resources on Ellis Island that can be
found in the City Hall Library.
American Passage: the History of Ellis
Island by Vincent J. Cannato chronicles
the history of Ellis Island. The author discusses the
early days of Ellis Island as an immigration center,
how it expanded, reforms promulgated in the early 20th
century, decline of Ellis Island and revitalization
as a national monument and museum in the late 20th and
early 21st centuries.
Ellis Island Historic District was
prepared by the New York City Landmarks Preservation
Commission in 1993. This report explains the reasons
for designating the Ellis Island area as a Historic
District. Included are history of Ellis Island, discussion
of the various buildings and reasons for designation.
Many photos and illustrations enhance the text.
Keepers of the Gate: a History of Ellis
Island by Thomas M. Pitkin tells the story
of the administration of Ellis Island from 1892 to the
1970’s. The author focuses on the work of the
commissioners of the immigration center. Issues discussed include
inadequate facilities for processing new immigrants,
protecting immigrants from abuse, deportation of those
deemed unfit to live in the United States, and controversies
over limiting the number of immigrants especially after
World War I.
Consult vertical files and other resources for further
information on Ellis Island, immigrant history and related
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