CMS Archive Finding Guides Now Available Online

CMS Archive Finding Guides Now Available Online

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) website now offers researchers, scholars and the public with enhanced opportunities to browse the CMS Archives online. Consisting of over 100 collections, the CMS Archives documents the immigrant experience of many communities in North America from the mid-19th to the 21st century. The CMS Archives is an especially rich source of materials related to the Italian-American experience, Catholic institutions and legislators that shaped US law.

The extensive holdings of CMS include:

  • Case histories of immigrants assisted by agencies working on Ellis Island;
  • Papers of individual immigrants who became successful in the United States through the arts, business, entertainment, labor organizing, the law, politics and service to their communities;
  • The records of immigrant advocacy groups and community institutions;
  • The voluminous records of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Bureau of Immigration;
  • More than 5,000 photographs of the immigrant experience, including books capturing 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 and
  • The largest surviving collection of material — including photographs — related to displaced persons in transit through New York after World War II.

Visitors to the dedicated Archives webpages can view a full listing of archive collections and download and browse through finding guides for several holdings. The site also provides a listing of the art collections held by CMS. In addition, users can access From the Archives, a series of essays that apply archive records, documents, photographs and other materials to US and global immigration policy issues. Basic information on accessing the CMS Archives, including hours and location, reproduction policy and how to set up an appointment to view collections in-person, is also available.

Visit the CMS Archives online now at