The CMS Archive
Credit: Center for Migration Studies

The CMS Archive

The CMS Archive consists of more than 100 collections that document the immigrant experience in North America from the mid-19th to the 21st century. The archive is an especially rich source for Italian-American studies, offering papers of individuals from the worlds of education, entertainment, labor, politics and publishing, and the records of community organizations such as parishes and educational and historical associations. Its collections include:

  • The records and files of agencies that assisted immigrants entering the United States at Ellis Island;
  • The manifests of ships that brought migrants to Ellis Island and case files of those processed;
  • Papers of individual immigrants who rose to prominence in the United States through the arts, business, entertainment, labor organizing, the law, politics, and service to their communities;
  • The records of numerous Catholic, Italian American and other immigrant service, advocacy and community institutions;
  • The voluminous records of the National Catholic Welfare Conference’s Bureau of Immigration through 1975;
  • More than 5,000 photographs of the immigrant experience, including photos of the orphaned offspring of American servicemen and Korean and Japanese women;
  • Correspondence between Catholic leaders strategizing over possible responses to anti-Catholic bigotry and nativism in the early 20th century; and
  • The largest surviving collection of material – including photographs — related to displaced persons in transit through New York City after World War II.

For more information or to request access to documents, please contact archives@cmsny.org.