Immigration: A Mini-Summer Institute
June 7 & 8, 2011

Web Resources

  Website: Description:  
General Immigration History:

Harvard University Library Open Collections Program, "Aspriation, Acculturation, and Impact - Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930"

This site contains a huge collection of primary sources on immigration to the United States that includes over 400,000 pages of text and more than 7,000 photographs. It is very easy to navigate by allowing the viewer to browse by thematic category, region, ethnic group, primary source form, and people.

Library of Congress, "Immigration...The Changing Face of America"

Related sites:
The library of Congress site entitled, "Immigration Challenges for New Americans" - a teacher's guide, primary sources, links to worksheets for primary source analysis.

The immigration site devoted to primary resources, interviews, and other resources for Mexican immigration.
The immigration site devoted to primary resources, interviews, and other resources for Chinese immigration.

This is an introduction of immigration to America and features primary sources from the Library of Congress’ online collection for both students and teachers. The site focuses on immigration to the United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries that include Native American, African, German, Irish, Scandinavian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Polish, and Russian immigrant groups. Each section provides a detailed description of the immigrant group’s journey to America, their assimilation into American life, and how their cultural traditions impacted their surroundings.

The New York Times, "Immigration Explorer"

This is an interactive map and timeline that shows how immigrant groups settled across the United States.

The New York Times, "Mapping America: Every City, Every Block"

This is an interactive map with local data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The site allows you to search by address, zip code, or city and displays the distribution of racial and ethnic groups in that area.

Historical Census Browser

This site provides data from census records from 1790 – 1970. You can sort records by race, ethnicity, and place of birth to generate statistical information of state and local populations.

Digital History

Timeline of landmarks in immigration history.

Clash of Cultures: Immigration Restriction

This Ohio State University site has many images and documents that reflect anti-immigration sentiment at the turn of the century.  You will also find political cartoons and background information on the Ku Klux Klan.
Ellis Island, "Immigrants at Ellis Island"

This is a collection of 10 short video clips related to Ellis Island. They include, A Guided Tour of the Ferry Building, Passing the Medical Inspection, Detained at Ellis Island, Reunited with Loved Ones, Magical Lighting of Ellis Island, Ellis Island: In Pictures, Ellis Island’s Dark Underbelly in Pictures, Registering as an American Citizen, Inspect Ellis Island’s Hospital Complex, and The Importance of the Citizen Exam.

The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

This site site allows you to search for passengers who arrived through Ellis Island.  Search by name, ethnicity, even by ship.  You may also click on the links at the top of the site to find some background about Ellis Island, photo albums, and tips on conducting a genealogical search.

Related site:
Meet several children who tell their immigration tales – some from 1920, some recently.  This site is the main home page for Scholastic’s Immigration:  Stories of Yesterday and Today

For those of you with elementary students, this interactive tour of Ellis Island is not to be missed.  Click through each slide to find audio (oral histories), video, and photos of various stages of an immigrant’s journey.  Key vocabulary is highlighted, so when your students are unsure of the meanings of “inspector” or “literacy test”, they can read the definition and move on.
Angel Island

Angel Island: Immigrant Journeys of Chinese-Americans.

This site is an oral history project by Lydia Lum. She includes a history of Chinese immigration to the United States as well as excerpts of interviews and photographs of four former Angel Island detainees.

Modern American Poetry, "Angel Island Poetry"

This site was created by the Department of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It contains essays on poems at Angel Island, historical information, photographs, and a timeline of Asian American history.

Smithsonian Program for Asian Pacific American Studies, "On Gold Mountain: A Chinese American Experience"

This site is based on the book by Lisa See and contains a variety of historical information and photographs about Chinese immigration and their experiences in America. It specifically focuses on the California Gold Rush and Chinese laborers in the west as well as Chinese settlement and the development of Chinatowns.

A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans & the U.S. Constitution

This is an exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. It examines racial prejudice against Japanese Americans during World War II. It traces the history of Japanese immigration to the United States through interactive galleries that combine music, text, and first-person accounts.

Library of Congress, "The Chinese in California: 1850-1925"

This is a collection of primary source materials that document Chinese immigration to California in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In addition, there are ten galleries and essays that describe specific topics such as westward expansion, San Francisco’s Chinatown, Chinese-American communities outside of Chinatown, and Chinese Exclusion.
Mexican Immigration

PBS: The Border

Related sites:
Mexican Immigrant Labor History
Interactive Timeline - dating back to 1500

This two-hour PBS documentary explores six stories of the U.S.-Mexico border.   It was created by public television producers from different stations and different parts of the country, in order to present stories of border towns all over.  This collaborative effort presents slices of border life not found on the evening news.  The documentary chooses to focus on the stories of daily life, faith, tradition, and opportunity rather than exploiting the aura of danger and menace so often seen in other media.

Harvard Magazine - "Uneasy Neighbors: A Brief History of Mexican-U.S. Migration"

An excellent article from 2007 that provides a history of Mexican immigration and the political negotiations that have taken place.

Smithsonian Museum - America on the Move: Opportunity or Exploitation: The Bracero Program

The Bracero Program (1942-1964) allowed Mexican nationals to take temporary work in the United States.  Several groups concerned over the exploitation of the Bracero workers tried to repeal the program.  This website has many pictures of Bracero workers taken in 1956.

Bracero History Archive

This archive gives a thorough description of the Bracero Program.  Click on the “Resources” tab to find video tutorials for the archive itself.  The “Teaching” link provides an introduction and background for teachers and some lesson plan guides for grades 6-12.