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A Guide to Immigration Resources at the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives

Immigration Materials at the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives

Below are links and details of the information including documents, photographs, illustrations, etc. that pertain to US Immigration circa 1880 through 1954.

  • Certificate or Inspection Card used by the U.S. Immigration Service for Immigrants which indicated that they were vaccinated, disinfested and passed daily health inspections during the voyage across the Atlantic.

    Additional Information and Illustrations on this page include:

    • Immigrant Identification Tag worn on the Outer Garment by immigrants who were processed through Ellis Island.
    • List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer at Port of Arrival - Used by immigration officers to record information about all passengers aboard steamships (including US Citizens) for all ports of entry.
    • U. S. Immigration Station, Ellis Island, New York - 1926 color postcard showing procession of immigrants outside of main building.
    • Ellis Island Immigration Station, New York, As Seen From An Airplane. Black and white photograph from 1922.
    • Immigrants Waiting to be Passed For Entry Into the United States, Ellis Island, New York. Black and white photograph from the early 1900s.
    • Immigrants in 1904 After being processed at Ellis Island. Black and white photograph. Note that the early ID Tags worn on the outer garment were smaller and printed in landscape as compared to 1923.
  • The Flood From Europe - The Immigration Problem, 1903 - a story based on the report of the Commissioner General of Immigration has been issued for the year, ending June 30th, 1903

    Additional Information and Illustrations on this page include:

    • United States Immigration Island, Ellis Island, New York Harbor - Black and white photograph of the main building in 1903
    • Aliens Landing from Barges at Ellis Island Station - Black and white photograph of the smaller ships that took the immigrants from the steamships and transported them to Ellis Island. Only US Citizens and visitors (non-immigrants) landed on the piers of New York (or New Jersey).
    • Aliens Awaiting Admission at Ellis Island Station - Black and white photograph from 1903 that shows women who were awaiting processing at Ellis Island. The style of clothing worn would indicate most shown in this photograph were from the lower (peasant) class.
    • The Chamberlain, For Use of Boarding Officers, Ellis Island Station - Black and white photograph of the ship that transported immigration officers to the steamships before they entered port. They would complete the preliminary paperwork and sectionalize the passengers (citizens from non-citizens) for ease of processing.
    • Type of Aliens Awaiting Admission At Ellis Island Station - Black and white photograph shows families entering the processing stations at Ellis Island. By viewing their clothing styles, what can you tell from the photographs?
    • Table of the number of immigrants to the United States from 1880 to 1903
    • Aliens Waiting For Tickets at Railway Ticket Office, Ellis Island Station - Black and white photograph showing newly admitted immigrants purchasing rail tickets for destinations spanning the United States. In some cases, tickets to their final destination were purchased from the steamship companies and would speed up the process at this point. See examples of Steamship Tickets from this era for additional information.
  • The Threshold of America - Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1898 - An article appearing in Harper's Weekly Magazine, February 20, 1898 provides a good summary of the Fire at Ellis Island and the Immigration Station's future.

    Additional topics covered included:

    • The Process For Immigrants - three paragraphs that summarized the process for immigrants in 1898
    • Illustration of the New Ellis Island Administration building - 1898. Text also describes the other buildings the comprise the Ellis Island Immigration Station.
  • Photographs of Ellis Island Immigrants
    • Typical Immigrants at the Immigration Station at Ellis Island, New York (reprint of photograph previously listed)
    • Ellis Island Immigration Station - Main Building - Typical Immigrants at the Immigration Station at Ellis Island, New York
    • Typical Immigrants [families] at the Immigration Station at Ellis Island, New York (reprint of photograph previously listed)
    • Foreigners at the Immigration Station, Ellis Island - Excellent quality black and white photograph showing immigrants outside of the main building at Ellis Island.
    • Registration Room, Ellis Island, New York City - 1905 black and white photograph taken from above the registration room looking down at the activities below.
  • A Summary of the Naturalization Laws of the United States (1907) includes information on the Declaration of Intentions, Petition on Application for Admission, Conditions for Citizenship and an overview of the immigration and naturalization laws in effect in 1907. See also A Summary of the Immigration Laws of the United States from 1882 through 1954.
  • Interview with the Commissioner of Immigration, 1906 - A reporter questions Commissioner Watchorn about immigration, ellis island, immigrants and more during the height of the early Spring immigration rush at Ellis Island, a rush which brought more than 25000 aliens in one week's time to our shores.
    • Table of the Number of Immigrants Rejected - shows the number of persons rejected by the steamship companies of their own accord in the six months ended December 31 of 1905, excepting the number rejected by the North German Lloyd Line, which covers the calendar year of 1905.
    • Table of the Number of Immigrants Admitted and Debarred For Fiscal Year 1905 (July 1904 - June 1905) and Fiscal Year 1906 (July 1905 - February 1906 only).
    • Photograph of Debarred Immigrants awaiting return to their country of origin - Not merely the dangerous elements are refused admission, but those who for reasons of ill health of mind or body, or inability to work, are likely to prove a hindrance rather than a help.
  • Immigrant Identification Card, United Stated Department of Labor for Non-Quota Immigration Visa - 1928 - Image of front and reverse side of ID Card carried by a Peruvian Immigrant.
  • An Immigrant's Story - A brief biography of a Norwegian immigrant who came to America in 1913. An inspirational story about the life of an amazing man of deep personal faith whose life was marked by the tragedy of his parents' early deaths, his wife's death in 1938, and the poverty, anxiety, and suffering of the depression and war years.
  • The Hopes of the Hyphenated - 1916 with Illustrations from 1898 and 1903. A lengthy article by George Creel primarily covers the process and treatment of immigrants form 1905 to 1914.

    Topics Covered:
    • The Slow Road To Citizenship
    • The Immigrant's First Impression and Treatment
    • Immigrant Laborers
    • Employment Bureaus for the Immigrants
    • Difficulty Earning A Living Wage
    • Literacy Amongst The Immigrants
    • Immigrants as Second Class Citizens
    • Neglect, Stupidly, and Oppression
    • The Immigrant Reform
    • The Potential For Immigration Policy Success
    • Farming, Underrated by Immigrants
    • Making the Melting Pot Work
    • Solutions for an Overburdened Judicial System
    • The Education of Our Future Citizens
    • Health and Medical Assistance for Immigrants
    • The Integration of the Immigrants
    • Unity, Purpose and Dynamic Direction - Federal Policy
    • The Head Tax Equation

Illustrations Included:

    • illustration of the New York Detention Room showing immigrants waiting behind a linked fence barrier.
    • Illustration of The Board of Special Inquiry, Ellis Island depicting an immigrant appearing before the Board that made decisions on accepting or debarring immigrants.
    • Illustration of newly arrived Immigrants walking in the city of New York (Captioned: The First Freedom in the New World)
    • Illustration of the Registry Department at Ellis Island - where immigrants passed through on their way to gaining entrance to the United States. The inspections took place in the Registry Room (or Great Hall), where doctors would briefly scan every immigrant for obvious physical deformities or diseases. This illustration depicts an immigration inspector reviewing the ship's manifest and record book where information on all immigrants were recorded.
    • Illustration of the The Registry Desk at Ellis Island. The immigration inspectors would interrogate each immigrant while seated behind the Registry Desk that held the ships' Manifest (passenger list).
    • Illustration - Serving Soup to Immigrants on the Roof Garden at Ellis Island.
    • Illustration - The "Deported Pen" at Ellis Island - shows a group of immigrants awaiting deportation at Ellis Island. The deportation pen contained aliens that were scheduled for deportation back to their country of origin.
  • Inspection Card for Immigrants and Steerage Passengers - (1913) This card was carried by the immigrants to avoid detention at Quarantine and on Railroads in the United States. It certified that they had been vaccinated against small pox and could best be described as their traveling papers.
  • Second Class and Steerage Accommodations - 1893 - Brief discussion of the Cunard Line's accommodations for the lower classes. Immigrants most often traveled to their new homeland in these two classes.
    • Illustration of the Ladies Saloon (Second Class)
    • Illustration of the Children's Dining Saloon - Second Class
  • Images of Accommodations on Board the Steamships of the Cunard Line (1902) Photographs of the Lower class accommodations catering to the immigrant trade.
    • Photograph of the Second Cabin Dining Saloon. Campania and Lucania. - Long rows of tables and stationary chairs.
    • Photograph of the Second-Class Dining Saloon : Umbria and Etruria. Two long rows of Tables with stationary chairs.
    • Photograph of the Second Cabin State Room: Campania and Lucania. Bunk beds and a relatively fancy wash basin area.
    • Photograph of the Second Cabin Two-Berth Room : Ivernia and Saxonia. - More basic than your typical stateroom but roomier than the third class.
    • Photograph of the Second Cabin Four-Berth Room: Umbria and Etruria. - Two bunk beds on both side with a middle wash basin.
    • Photograph of the Second Cabin Ladies' Room: Campania and Lucania.
    • Photograph of the Second Cabin Smoke Room: Campania and Lucania. Special smoking rooms were a requirement as smoking was generally prohibited elsewhere on the ship due to fire safety concerns.
    • Photograph of the Second Cabin Smoke Room : Umbria and Etruria.
    • Photograph of the Third-Class Two Berth Room: Campania and Lucania. Narrow bunk beds and a small wash basin area is typical accommodations for the immigrant of that era.
    • Photograph of the Third-Class Four-Berth Room: Campania and Lucania. Typically used by immigrant families or same gender single immigrants.
    • Photograph of the Third-Class Smoke Room: Ivernia and Saxonia. In appearance, they look like folding tables set up in a very plain looking setting.
    • Photograph of the Third-Class Dining Room on the Ultonia. - One very long table - nothing fancy here. This is quite typical of what the average immigrant would have encountered at the turn of the Twentieth century for 3rd class / steerage accommodations.
  • Third Class / Steerage Accommodations on board the Cunard Sister Ships Laconia and Franconia circa 1912. Extremely rare photographs from a short lived steamship that were both sunk during World War 1.
    • Photograph of the Four-Berth Room in Third Class / Steerage - Ludvig Gjønvik of the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Family emigrated from Trondhjem, Norway in 1913 and likely stayed in a four-berth room as depicted here.
    • Photograph of the Dining Room, Third Class / Steerage - smaller tables compared to the accommodations from a decade earlier, but still quite plain.
    • Photograph of the Ladies' Room, Third Class / Steerage - Live plants on every table provided a more pleasant environment for the immigrant women.
    • Photograph of a portion of the Galley where Tea and Coffee was prepared
    • Photograph of a Corner of the Kitchen - a rare look into the galley of the Laconia and Franconia.
  • Old Dominion Views of Third Class Areas of the Steamship New England circa 1900 - Photographs of the accommodations most likely encountered by the majority of immigrants traveling on the Dominion Line between Europe and North America.
    • Photograph of the Third Class Dining Room - looking forward on the steamship "New England" depicts many rows of tables in a rather plain setting.
    • Photograph of the Third Class Bedroom with Two Berths on the Steamship "New England" - Note the view of the ultra-thin mattresses and the pattern designs on the bedspread.
    • Photograph of the Third Class Smoking Room on the Steamship "New England" - quite plain with small wood tables - note the bench that surrounds the sides of the room.
  • Second Cabin, Steerage and Regular Service of the Hamburg-American Line - 1890 - descriptive text from this travel brochure offers a glimpse of what the immigrants encountered in the late nineteenth century.
  • Third Class Accommodations - Scandinavian American Line - 1917 - The Scandinavian American Line does a good job at describing the accommodations for the third class patrons who were primarily immigrants from Denmark, Norway and Sweden that operated between Copenhagen and New York.
    • Photograph of the Third Class Promenade Deck, S.S. Oscar II looking aft - many immigrants on board getting some fresh air.
  • Second Saloon and Third Class Accommodations, Anchor Line Brochure from 1902 This brochure offers information on the accommodations but no photographs.
    • Section on Second Saloon Accommodations that briefly described the accommodations in the Second Saloon including a "liberal supply of well cooked provisions."
    • Section on Third Class Accommodations briefly describing the accommodations including how they separate the men and women and "A liberal supply of provisions, properly cooked" is included.
    • Section on Baggage Stipulations and Restrictions - Answers how much stuff could the immigrant bring with them.
    • Table of Second Cabin Rates by Ship, stated in US Dollars.
    • Table of Third Class Rates by Ship, at a price that included Bedding and Eating Utensils - in US Dollars.
    • Listing of the 1902 Rates Converted to 2007 Dollars using the Consumer Price Index. - We did your homework for you.
  • Prepaid Passage Certificate - Third Class - Derry [Londonderry] to Rochester PA - 1903 - An Irish immigrant family comes to America using this prepaid certificate (voucher) - Image of this remarkable certificate appears on that page as well.
  • In The Third Class to North America, 1938 Brochure - Hamburg-America Line - This brochure was produced a few years before the start of World War 2 and depicts the conditions that immigrants of this era would have encountered.
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