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New Americans: American Immigration History: Historical Documents

Check This Out!

Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930
Online collection of approximately 2,200 books and pamphlets as well as 7,800 photographs, 200 maps and 9,600 pages from Harvard manuscript and archival collections. Emphasis on 19th century materials. An amazing resource!

How They Saw It

Immigration and Multiculturalism: Essential Primary Sources
K. Lee Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner, eds. Detroit, Gale, 2006.
"Primary source documents focused on immigration and multiculturalism in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Contains approximately 175 full or excerpted documents---speeches, legislation, magazine and newspaper articles, essays, memoirs, letters, interviews, novels, songs, and works of art---as well as overview information that places each document in context. International in scope." Off-Campus Access Rutgers-restricted access
How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York
Jacob Riis. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1890.
Emigrants [i.e. Immigrants] Landing at Ellis Island
Thomas A. Edison, Inc. 1903.
Film clip. "Shows a large open barge loaded with people of every nationality, who have just arrived from Europe, disembarking at Ellis Island, N.Y." Photographed July 9, 1903.
On the Lower East Side: Observations of Life in Lower Manhattan at the Turn of the Century
A collection of turn of the century articles and other documentary sources accompanied by introductory materials.
"The Foreign Immigrant in New York City,"
Kate Holladay Claghorn. Reports of the Industrial Commission 15, 1901, 465-492.
Eugenic Laws Restricting Immigration
Virtual exhibit with accompanying essay by Paul Lombardo. From the Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement
"Two Immigrants Out of Five Feebleminded," The Survey 38, September 14, 1917, 528-529.
Report published in the leading social work journal of the day on a 1913 study by psychologists at the Training School in Vineland, N.J. who spent two and a half months at Ellis Island administering intelligence tests to immigrants ("35 Jews, 22 Hungarians, 50 Italians and 45 Russians"). The study concluded that two out of every five immigrants studied was feeblemined.
Biological Aspects of Immigration
Testimony of Harry L. Laughlin before the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, April 16-17, 1920.