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The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. opened on April 17, 2001 an exciting family history research facility on the Internet at www.ellisisland.org and at Ellis Island, the only national monument dedicated to the American immigration experience. It provides visitors with advanced computer and multimedia technology for investigating immigration history, family documentation and genealogical exploration. The facility offers the following: PASSENGER ARRIVAL RECORDS In this part of the Center the records of more than 22 million immigrants, passengers and crewmembers who entered through the Port of New York and Ellis Island between 1892-1924 are, for the first time, available in an electronic database for easy access. The information from these valuable documents covers 11 fields of information including:
IMMIGRATION HISTORY EXPLORATION This software program offers a presentation entitled “The Immigrant Experience.” It includes six vignettes entitled, “Family Histories,” covering the stories of people who successfully researched their family histories and the motivation behind the desire to search for their families’ roots. It also includes a presentation entitled, “The Peopling of America®,” offering global migration facts and maps. FAMILY HISTORY SCRAPBOOK This area provides Foundation members with the unprecedented opportunity to create their own family history scrapbooks with personal family documents, records and photos. In order to preserve their family’s memorabilia and precious records, visitors have access to state-of-the-art computer terminals and electronic scanning and audio recording equipment. They can also receive either a printout or CD-ROM copy of their entries. General visitors can have access to this archive on a “read-only” basis. HOW THE CENTER WORKS Eleven computer kiosks in select locations in the Ellis Island Immigration Museum highlight the research activities available in the American Family Immigration History Center and offer a preliminary search to ascertain if an individual’s records are included in the database. Also included is cost, scheduling and reservation information. Reservations can be arranged prior to a visit via email at: www.ellisisland.org. Upon entering the Center (with a $5 entrance fee), a visitor receives an access card, that activates one of the 31 computer workstations. It provides access to the database and other software programs, as well as tracks the visitor’s computer usage. Visitors can also use the card to request copies of the various information they accessed during their search, either on CD-ROM or in printed form, which is provided for a fee at the end of the session. A session in the Passenger Arrival Records and Immigration History Exploration database is 30 minutes in length. A session in the Family History Scrapbook area is 60 minutes in length. Access to these areas on the Internet site is unlimited. INTERNET ACCESS Access to all of the Center’s programs is available over the Internet at www.ellisisland.org. That is, an individual is able to: