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Ellis Island: Topics in Chronicling America

Between 1892 and 1954, millions of immigrants came to the United States through the immigration station at Ellis Island. This guide provides access to materials related to "Ellis Island" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers


Ellis Island. New-York tribune, August 28, 1904, Page 4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Ellis Island first began welcoming immigrants to the United States in 1892, but a fire destroyed the old building in 1897. On December 17, 1900, the new Immigrant Station opened on Ellis Island for receiving and processing thousands of newcomers to our shores. The New-York Tribune described the new facility as "spacious and well-lighted," showing contrasting photos of the old Barge Office and the new building. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1890 Congress appropriates $75,000 to build an immigration station at Ellis Island.
January 1, 1892 The immigration station at Ellis Island officially opens.
June 15, 1897 Fire destroys station and records of immigrants back to 1840.
December 1900 The new and currently standing main building opens at a cost of $1.5 million.
1907 Ellis Island has peak number of immigrants arrive.
1954 Ellis Island ends immigration operations.