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Historical Archives (including Oral Histories) for Immigration Research



Center for Migration Studies, New York
http://cmsny.org/library.htm
CMS Archives houses 101 collections that are processed to the folder level and include detailed inventories. Among the collections are the papers/records of artists, theatre personalities, politicians, labor leaders, newspaper publishers, immigrant aid societies, refugee resettlement agencies, and the Scalabrini Missionary Fathers in the United States. The CMS Photographic Archives currently has available over 1,000 images. Most of these images document the Italian immigrant and ethnic experience. A small number portray care of refugees after World War II.

Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota
http://www.ihrc.umn.edu/about/
Founded in 1965, the IHRC promotes research on migration with a special emphasis on immigration to the U.S. It houses one of the largest and most important collections of materials on U.S. immigration and refugee life to be found anywhere in the world. IHRC has a detailed website and includes a search program, VITRAGE (Virtual Information and Tools for Research of Archives on the ImmiGrant Experience), that provides online searching of the Center's archival collections.

Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930
http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/immigration/
Interesting and unique resource for those interested in the early history of immigration in the U.S. Harvard has put an on-line 'open' collection up for immigration over the period 1789-1930. This online archive includes approximately 1,800 books, 6,000 photographs, and 200 maps, accessible from your computer. Just to give visitors some sense of what is included here, you can browse through the records of the Immigration Restriction League and take a gander at images Harvard's Social Museum, which was established in 1903 to illustrate "problems of the social order." There are some neat historical pictures and some personal papers (of individuals and organizations). There is a key word search feature and and a rather nice timeline.

National Archives and Record Administration
Early Arrivals Record Search (E.A.R.S.)

http://casefiles.berkeley.edu/
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Pacific Region, in San Bruno, California houses records of hundreds of thousands of people who passed through the immigration stations in San Francisco and Honolulu between 1882 and 1955.  This website can help you find out what cases are available at the NARA archives. You won't find the actual, physical case files on this website. The public can view these records at the San Bruno branch, but you will have to travel to the NARA office in San Bruno to see the records themselves.

The National Archives and Record Administration
http://www.archives.gov/research/
The National Archives contain most of the federal government’s immigration and naturalization files.  Try the on-line searches to see what is available.  Otherwise, the researchers’ page provides information for accessing the archives as well as collections’ information.

U.K. Caribbean Studies and Black and Asian History archive
http://www.casbah.ac.uk/
This is an archive on blacks and Asians in the UK.  It is in its early stages, but may be useful.

London, UK Borough Archives
e.g. http://brent-hip.epixtech.co.uk/#focus
http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/LeisureCulture/Libraries/Archives.htm
These are archives for local London boroughs.  Most boroughs with sizeable immigrant/ethnic minority populations have lots of materials on immigrant/ethnic issues. The scope varies for each borough.




Immigration Workshop - Berkeley, CA 94720