Ellis Island

Ellis Island, island, c.27 acres (10.9 hectares), in Upper New York Bay, SW of Manhattan island. Government-controlled since 1808, it was long the site of an arsenal and a fort, but most famously served (1892–1954) as the chief immigration station of the United States. It is estimated that 40% of all Americans had an ancestor arrive at Ellis Island. Now part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument (see Liberty, Statue of), the island was opened to tourists in 1976. In 1990 an immigration museum was opened, and many records of immigrant arrivals have been computerized and are available there and on line. In 1998 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, pursuant to an 1834 interstate compact, only the original 3.3 acres (1.3 hectares) belong to New York, the remainder (created by landfill operations) belongs to New Jersey. See also Angel Island.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Ellis Island: Selected full-text books and articles

The Battle for Ellis Island; Preservation vs. Exploitation By Grastz, Roberta Brandes; Fettman, Eric The Nation, Vol. 241, November 30, 1985
Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the "Immigrant Menace" By Alan M. Kraut Basic Books, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "'Proper Precautions': Searching for Illness on Ellis Island"
Ellis Island Truths Can Point the Way on Immigration By Sieff, Martin Insight on the News, Vol. 9, No. 35, August 30, 1993
Immigration in New York By Elizabeth Bogen Praeger Publishers, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Ellis Island begins on p. 16
Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law By Lucy E. Salyer University of North Carolina Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Ellis Island begins on p. 140
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Laws and Issues: A Documentary History By Michael Lemay; Elliott Robert Barkan Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Ellis Island Closes Down, November 1954" begins on p. 241
A World without War: How U.S. Feminists and Pacifists Resisted World War I By Frances H. Early Syracuse University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The Ellis Island Deportees"
The Confessions of a Reformer By Frederic C. Howe Kent State University Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XXV "Ellis Island"
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