The Center for
Migration Studies

Welcome to the Center for
Migration Studies (CMS)
archive, containing more than
100 coll...
… from the time of Ellis Island…

…to contemporary times.
The CMS archive contains…

…case histories of immigrants passing through Ellis Island…
…descriptions of immigrant processing and other activities on
Ellis Island…
CMS’ archive contains…

Fiorello LaGuardia

…correspondence involving prominent public figures…
The Saturno family arrived in the U.S. in 1875.

CMS’ archive contains more
than 40 collections-containing
papers, records...
…records of immigrant advocacy groups and community
organizations that assisted immigrants…

To guard against unscrupulous...
From the Archive…
The first annual report of St. Raphael’s
Italian Benevolent Society published in 1892.

St. Raphael’s, f...
Advocacy groups actively promote humane immigration policies…

1964

2005
“Records of the CMS archive, especially the papers of the National Catholic Welfare
Conference and the American Committee ...
…more than 5,000 photographs chronicling the immigrant experience…

Ellis Island processing center, as seen in the late 19...
Immigrant neighborhood in NYC. ca. 1901

Catholic priest with recent arrivals.

Immigrant neighborhood in NYC. ca. 1901

A...
Non-governmental
organizations advocate for
better treatment of
detained immigrants on
Ellis Island.
The CMS archive contains many collections from Catholic
parishes involved with immigrants in the late 19th and 20th
centur...
The CMS archive contains…

…the largest surviving collection of material related to
displaced persons in transit through N...
Staff of the National Catholic Welfare Conference assist newly arriving
DPs (displaced persons) from Europe.
During the 81st Congress, fierce debate ensued over amendments
to the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, involving whether the...
The Center for Migration Studies is an invaluable resource to
scholars, policymakers and members of the public who are int...
In the first year after the passage of the Displaced Persons
Act of 1948, nearly 40,000 DPs were admitted to the U.S.
for ...
In 1911, the Triangle Factory Fire took the
lives of hundreds of workers, most of
whom were immigrants. The CMS
collection...
From the Archive…
“…we, Lithuanians, a total of 260, having arrived on this
date, July 29, 1949, to New York on the SS Gen...
One of the roles
played by religious
groups on Ellis Island
was to offer services
in new arrivals’
languages.

Catholic Ma...
CMS’ archive includes…
… extensive collections on the
Italian immigrant experience…
Mother Francesca
Cabrini, known as the
Patron Saint of
Immigrants, was sent to
the U. S. by Bishop
Scalabrini to care for
...
The newly married couple - Argene and Sebastiano were bound for a new life in America aboard the RMS
Titantic.
On April 14...
“The CMS archive is an invaluable
treasure for historians. Ranging from
stories of immigrant families to
discussion with p...
From the Archive…
“[M]igration and refugee issues demand attention. They, more
than any other issue[s], stand out as a sym...
CMS Archive Presentation
CMS Archive Presentation
CMS Archive Presentation
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CMS Archive Presentation

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The Center for Migration Studies makes an unparalleled contribution to migration-related scholarship through its archives. Its extensive holdings 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.

The bulk of CMS’s collection documents the Italian-American experience, extending chronologically from the mid-19th to the 21st century, and geographically from New England to the Pacific Northwest and from Chicago to the South.

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

Published in: Education, Spiritual
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CMS Archive Presentation

  1. 1. The Center for Migration Studies Welcome to the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) archive, containing more than 100 collections on immigration to the U.S. from the mid-19th to the 21st century.
  2. 2. … from the time of Ellis Island… …to contemporary times.
  3. 3. The CMS archive contains… …case histories of immigrants passing through Ellis Island…
  4. 4. …descriptions of immigrant processing and other activities on Ellis Island…
  5. 5. CMS’ archive contains… Fiorello LaGuardia …correspondence involving prominent public figures…
  6. 6. The Saturno family arrived in the U.S. in 1875. CMS’ archive contains more than 40 collections-containing papers, records, photos, and correspondence-- of individual immigrants who became successful in the arts, business, entertainment, labor unions, law, politics, and community service.
  7. 7. …records of immigrant advocacy groups and community organizations that assisted immigrants… To guard against unscrupulous practices, worker from St. Raphael accompanies new arrivals to money changer.
  8. 8. From the Archive… The first annual report of St. Raphael’s Italian Benevolent Society published in 1892. St. Raphael’s, founded by the Scalabrini fathers to assist newly arrived immigrants, helped tens of thousands of Italian immigrants navigate their first steps in their new land. The CMS archive includes the St. Raphael collection containing materials from the late 19th to early 20th century.
  9. 9. Advocacy groups actively promote humane immigration policies… 1964 2005
  10. 10. “Records of the CMS archive, especially the papers of the National Catholic Welfare Conference and the American Committee for Italian Migration, were indispensable for my dissertation on the history of the right to family unity in twentieth-century U.S. immigration policy.” Yuki Oda, Ph.D. Candidate Department of History Columbia University
  11. 11. …more than 5,000 photographs chronicling the immigrant experience… Ellis Island processing center, as seen in the late 19th century. New arrivals going through immigration processing procedures. New arrivals disembarking onto Ellis Island. DPs being helped by worker from the National Catholic Welfare Conference. Ca. 1949 Italian immigrant hired to harvest grapes. ca. early 20th century.
  12. 12. Immigrant neighborhood in NYC. ca. 1901 Catholic priest with recent arrivals. Immigrant neighborhood in NYC. ca. 1901 After completing processing on Ellis Island, this family is being aided by staff of St. Raphael’s in their relocation. ca. 1900 Italian immigrant family, ca. late 19th century.
  13. 13. Non-governmental organizations advocate for better treatment of detained immigrants on Ellis Island.
  14. 14. The CMS archive contains many collections from Catholic parishes involved with immigrants in the late 19th and 20th centuries. These records have been helpful to a number of scholars, including:  Historian Jennifer Guglielmo used them for her book Living the Revolution.  Sociologist Don Tricarico consulted the records of Our Lady of Pompei parish for his book The Italians of Greenwich Village.  Msgr. Steven Michael Di Giovanni and Peter D’Agostino used the parish collections for their books on the pastoral care provided to immigrants.
  15. 15. The CMS archive contains… …the largest surviving collection of material related to displaced persons in transit through New York after World War II….
  16. 16. Staff of the National Catholic Welfare Conference assist newly arriving DPs (displaced persons) from Europe.
  17. 17. During the 81st Congress, fierce debate ensued over amendments to the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, involving whether the U.S. should accept Germans who had been expelled primarily from Eastern European countries for resettlement. The U.S. bishops strongly endorsed an amendment that would allow German immigration, stating: “…if we abandon these victims of mass expulsion…we will not fulfill our duty as Christians…”
  18. 18. The Center for Migration Studies is an invaluable resource to scholars, policymakers and members of the public who are interested in knowing more about immigration to the United States. Its archives include some of the richest records left by immigrants and the groups that have assisted them. My own work on admission of displaced persons after World War II benefitted greatly from the wealth of information and perspectives included in the archive. The materials from the Bureau of the National Catholic Welfare Council are worth a visit on their own. Susan Martin Donald G. Herzberg Chair in International Migration and Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration Fellow, Center for Social Justice Georgetown University
  19. 19. In the first year after the passage of the Displaced Persons Act of 1948, nearly 40,000 DPs were admitted to the U.S. for resettlement. In a report on its involvement in this effort, the National Catholic Welfare Conference indicated that the Catholic Church provided sponsorships for more than 40% of those arrivals, and that they were placed in every state and the District of Columbia, with the largest number resettling in New York.
  20. 20. In 1911, the Triangle Factory Fire took the lives of hundreds of workers, most of whom were immigrants. The CMS collections include correspondence and other materials concerning this historic event, which led to reforms in working conditions.
  21. 21. From the Archive… “…we, Lithuanians, a total of 260, having arrived on this date, July 29, 1949, to New York on the SS General Muir, would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to NCWC [National Catholic Welfare Conference] for the assistance given us by your very fine organization which enabled us to reach the shores of America…”
  22. 22. One of the roles played by religious groups on Ellis Island was to offer services in new arrivals’ languages. Catholic Mass being celebrated. Jewish services on Ellis Island.
  23. 23. CMS’ archive includes… … extensive collections on the Italian immigrant experience…
  24. 24. Mother Francesca Cabrini, known as the Patron Saint of Immigrants, was sent to the U. S. by Bishop Scalabrini to care for Italian immigrants. She founded the religious order, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, and started an orphanage in NYC. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Rare photo of St. Joachim’s church, where Mother Cabrini began her U.S. mission. Translated excerpt of memoir of priest who appealed to Mother Cabrini to begin a mission in New Orleans.
  25. 25. The newly married couple - Argene and Sebastiano were bound for a new life in America aboard the RMS Titantic. On April 14, 1912, as the Titantic sank, Argene was placed on a lifeboat, but her husband perished. When Argene was rescued and brought to New York she was deemed ineligible for admission, because with her husband gone, she no longer had the required means of support. The Sisters of Charity Pallotine helped her emotionally and financially to return to her family in Italy. Here Argene poses with a Sister of Charity Pallotine.
  26. 26. “The CMS archive is an invaluable treasure for historians. Ranging from stories of immigrant families to discussion with policy-making elites, their papers enabled me to explore historical struggles of immigrant aid agencies to advance family reunification and to reform deportation policy, and how such struggles reshaped the concept of family.” Yuki Oda, Ph.D. Candidate Department of History Columbia University
  27. 27. From the Archive… “[M]igration and refugee issues demand attention. They, more than any other issue[s], stand out as a symbol of the essential worth this nation and its people place on the dignity of the individual human being. They are a clue to our belief that all people are entitled to those ‘inalienable rights’ for which this nation was created. Moreover, they indicate the degree of our humanitarianism, and are an effective gauge of our faithfulness to the high moral and spiritual principles of our founding fathers—to whom people, as children of God, were the most important resource of a free nation.” Michael G. Wenk, Rev. S. M. Tomasi, C.S., and Dr. Eleanor Rogg, “American Immigration and Its Catholic Component” (Migration and Refugee Services, USCC, and Center for Migration Studies, 1970.)
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