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Immigration and Migration  

Last Updated: Sep 6, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Library of Congress Resources

View of Ellis Island, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C

  • American Memory (immigration exhibits)
    This is a listing of special exhibits from the Library of Congress that deal with immigration over time. Each exhibit is a rich collection of primary sources, including images, maps, broadsides, and journals.
  • Immigration Challenges for New Americans
    A primary source set from the Library of Congress. Includes 21 primary sources ranging from documents and images to sound recordings and video clips. A teacher's guide and primary source analysis tools accompany the set.

New York Times Immigration Websites

  • Remade in America
    This is a New York Times multi-part series on immigration in the U.S. today, including interactive features, maps, photo essays, articles, and more.
  • Borders, Open and Closed
    A multi-media presentation on the history of Mexican immigrant workers in the early-mid 20th century. The feature is narrated by journalist, Nina Bernstein, and includes archived photos from various points in the early 20th century.
  • Immigration Explorer
    This interactive map is worth highlighting, as it allows the user to see where various cultural groups have settled in the United States, illustrating settlement patterns across the country.
  • Immigration Lesson Plans
    The New York Times Learning Network is a database of lessons and materials that use NYT articles and data as its source. This is a collection of learning tools related to immigration.


  • Border Film Project
    The Border Film Project is an attempt to bring attention to the problems with U.S. border control. By handing out disposable cameras to both migrants coming from Mexico, and Minutemen living here in the states, this project gives powerful visual imagery that cannot be ignored.
  • Digital History
    A brief history of immigration during the 19th century.
  • Harvard University, Immigration to the United States Timeline
    This timeline provides a comprehensive overview of immigration history from 1789-1930. Several pieces of information can be further explored through hyperlinks to primary source documents, articles, and other resources.
  • In Motion: the African-American Migration Experience
    Excellent website documenting the many waves of black migration – into the U.S. and around the U.S. – from the slave trade to the present. Offers images, text, and maps for each migration period, as well as lesson plans.
  • Lower East Side Tenement Museum
    If you can’t bring your students to this wonderful museum, you can bring the museum to your students via the Virtual Tour, and use the artistic rendition of “Folk songs of the Five Points” to accompany it.
  • Migration Policy Institute
    MPI provides analysis, development, and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at local, national, and international levels.
  • New York Public Library Digital Gallery
    This online photo gallery is easily searchable by topic or key word. There are hundreds of images related to immigration to the United States, including those specific to different cultural groups, locations, and areas of settlement. There is also a rich collection of images related to Ellis Island.
  • Pacific Link
    A collection of timelines, lesson plans, and other resources related to Angel Island
  • Poetic Waves
    Poetic Waves is an interactive experience to give the user a view into life on Angel Island. The site uses poetry (in Chinese and English), music, a timeline, and a gallery of artifacts to give the user a sense of life for immigrant detainees on the island.
  • Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture: Digital Schomburg
    Access primary sources, manuscripts, photographs, music, and other documents about African American history and culture.
  • Strangers in the Land of Strangers: defining "American" in times of conflict
    From the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, this site includes short articles and primary sources that look at how different groups have had to prove their "Americanness" in times of conflict, from the American Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement.
  • The Pluralism Project
    The Pluralism Project at Harvard University documents how immigration impacts the religious landscape of the United States. Find research, teacher resources, and information about various religious beliefs on this site.

Using Music to Teach About Immigration

Corridos are Mexican ballads that date back to the 1800s and today are more commonly called "border music." These poetic songs are based on true events and engage the listener through popular themes and common language that can be accessed by the masses. Corridos can be used to teach students about issues such as life along the border and the struggle for equal rights.

Check out the NPR story on Corridos, as well as lesson plans for engaging students in the study and writing of these Mexican ballads. The winner of the Western Folklife Center's corrido-writing contest was Jose Garcia, whose corrido "Los Latino Unidos" deals with the challenges that many Mexican immigrants face.

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Maps and Data

There are many resources that provide interactive maps and comprehensive data on immigration around the world and more specifically in the United States. Here are a few of the most teacher-friendly resources.


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