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Syr Darya Oblast. Arrival of Jews from Bukhara to Kazalinsk
This photograph is from the ethnographical part of Turkestan Album, a comprehensive visual survey of Central Asia undertaken after imperial Russia assumed control of the region in the 1860s. Commissioned by General Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman (1818–82), the first governor-general of Russian Turkestan, the album is in four parts spanning six volumes: “Archaeological Part” (two volumes); “Ethnographic Part” (two volumes); “Trades Part” (one volume); and “Historical Part” (one volume). The principal compiler was Russian Orientalist Aleksandr L. Kun, who was assisted by Nikolai V. Bogaevskii. The album contains some ...
Brochure for White Star Line’s Two Ships “Olympic” and “Titanic”
This Danish-language brochure, published in Copenhagen in 1911 or 1912, advertises two ships of the British-owned White Star Line, the Olympic and Titanic. Included are facts about the line and its fleet; information about tickets, timetables, and classes of service; and illustrations of the dining rooms, libraries, cabins, and decks. The brochure lists amenities available to second- and third-class passengers and shows the menus for the morning, midday, and evening meals offered on each of the seven days of the voyage across the Atlantic. The publication was aimed at people ...
Passport Request, Nansen Office in Berlin
The Nansen International Office for Refugees was authorized by the League of Nations in the fall of 1930 and began active operations on April 1, 1931. It was the successor to the first international agency dealing with refugees, the High Commission for Refugees, established in June 1921 by the League of Nations under the direction of the Norwegian explorer and statesman Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930). The League Secretariat had assumed responsibility for international refugees and stateless persons and charged the Nansen office with carrying out its responsibilities in this area ...
Nansen Passport with Stamps
The Nansen passport was a certificate issued by the Nansen International Office for Refugees as an international substitute for a passport, which allowed stateless persons or those deprived of their national passports to enter and transit other countries. The Nansen office was the successor to the first international agency dealing with refugees, the High Commission for Refugees, established in June 1921 by the League of Nations under the direction of the Norwegian explorer and statesman Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930). The League Secretariat had assumed responsibility for international refugees and stateless ...
Convention on the International Status of Refugees
This document is the original typewritten text of the Convention on the International Status of Refugees, which was concluded on October 28, 1933, by five countries—Belgium, Bulgaria, Egypt, France, and Norway—and subsequently adhered to by a number of others. The convention was the most far-reaching attempt on the part of the League of Nations to define the responsibilities of states towards refugees. It grew out of four multilateral League arrangements that were adopted between 1922 and 1928 in response to refugee problems caused by World War I and ...
Letter of Resignation of James G. McDonald, High Commissioner for Refugees (Jewish and Other) Coming from Germany
James G. McDonald was an American diplomat who in October 1933 was appointed by the Council of the League of Nations to be high commissioner for refugees (Jewish and other) coming from Germany. His mandate was to “negotiate and direct” the “international collaboration” necessary to solve the “economic, financial and social problem” of refugees from Germany. McDonald held this position for more than two years. He resigned in December 1935, having concluded that the “conditions in Germany which create refugees have developed so catastrophically that a reconsideration by the League ...
The Uganda Journal, Volume I, Number 1, January 1934
The Uganda Literary and Scientific Society was established at Entebbe, Uganda Protectorate, in 1923. Its main activity consisted of the reading of papers and the delivery of lectures on topics relating to Uganda. In 1933 the society moved its headquarters to Kampala and decided to issue a regular publication, The Uganda Journal. The journal’s declared aim was “to collect and publish information which may add to our knowledge of Uganda and to record that which in the course of time might be lost.” Four issues per year were published ...
Mulberry Street, New York City
This photolithograph from the Detroit Publishing Company documents the busy street life of New York City’s Lower East Side at the start of the 20th century. Between 1870 and 1915, New York’s population more than tripled, from 1.5 million to 5 million. In 1900, when this photo was taken, foreign-born immigrants and their children constituted a staggering 76 percent of the city’s population. Often described as the Main Street of Little Italy, Mulberry Street was dominated from the 1890s by immigrants from Italy. These immigrants jostled ...
Siberia and Migrants
In the 19th century, the government of Russia encouraged peasants to move from the western parts of the empire to untilled lands in Siberia. This book was intended as a guide for peasants interested in resettling. It contained information about the climate and soils of Siberia, conditions and economic opportunities, essential expenses for relocation and construction in a new place, as well as recommendations for the behavior of migrants in transit. The book was published in Khar'kov (Kharkiv, in Ukrainian) by the Khar’kov Society for the Expansion of ...
Affidavit of Louie Young Stating that He is the Father of Louie Jock Sung, and Deposition of Non Chinese Witnesses (Documents Were Executed in New York City)
In the spring of 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Chester A. Arthur. This act provided an absolute ten-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration. For the first time, Federal law proscribed entry of an ethnic group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain localities. Passage of the act marked the culmination of several decades of growing hostility in the United States to Chinese immigrants, which was fostered by competition for jobs and racial animosity. These documents, from the records ...
Declaration of Intention of Maria von Trapp
Maria von Trapp became a household name in the United States when her story was turned into the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music. She and her family previously had immigrated to the United States from their native Austria following the takeover of the country by Nazi Germany. This Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen, submitted to the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, on January 21, 1944, sheds light on the real Maria von Trapp.
Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein
In 1936, German-born physicist Albert Einstein filed this Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen. Following the Nazi takeover of political power in Germany in 1933 and the onset of persecution of the German Jews, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and immigrated to the United States to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. On the basis of this declaration, the man who had first proposed the theory of relativity in 1905 became a U.S. citizen in 1940.
Immigration Handbook for Scandinavian Settlers in Canada, with Comprehensive Descriptions of Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and British Columbia
This immigration handbook was published by the Canadian Department of Interior in 1889 for the express purpose of recruiting settlers from Sweden. It includes an introduction to Canada and Canadian society, an immigration procedures handbook, and a topographical description of Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, and British Columbia. Special attention is paid to already-existing Scandinavian settlements.
Arrival of Emigrants [i.e. Immigrants], Ellis Island
This film, by Gottfried Wilhelm "Billy" Bitzer of the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, was among the first films of this accomplished cameraman. It is reminiscent of contemporary films of Ellis Island shot by the Edison Manufacturing Company. It depicts scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis Island. It appears to show, first, a group of immigrants lined up to board a vessel leaving the island, then another group arriving at the island and being directed off of the dock and into the depot by a ...
Portrait of Sponge Diver John M. Gonatos
The Florida sponge diving industry developed in the area of Tarpon Springs beginning in the late 19th century. In 1891, the entrepreneur John King Cheyney founded the Anclote and Rock Island Sponge Company. Cheyney initially harvested sponges from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico by hooking the sponges from boats. In 1897, Cheyney employed a young Greek sponge buyer and technical expert, John Cocoris, who explained how sponge divers in Greece, using rubberized wet suits, could harvest four times as much sponge as people working from boats. Cheyney placed ...
Cuban Refugee Breaks Down Upon his Arrival at Key West, Florida from Mariel, Cuba During the Mariel Boatlift
The Mariel Boatlift was a mass exodus of Cubans from Mariel Port on the island of Cuba to Florida between April and November 1980. Departure by boat was permitted by the Castro government after several years of improving relations between Cuba and the United States under President Jimmy Carter, a period that coincided with a severe downturn in the Cuban economy. Perhaps as many as 125,000 Cubans made the journey to Florida on overcrowded craft of varying size and seaworthiness. Political opinion in the United States began to turn ...
Brief and Concise Plan Intended to be a Mutual Agreement for Some Colonists Willing to go to the South River in New Netherland
Pieter Cornelis Plockhoy was a Dutch Mennonite and social reformer, born in the city of Zierikzee circa 1625. He moved to Amsterdam in 1648, where he became well known in the city’s intellectual circles. In 1658 he went to London where he tried unsuccessfully to gain the support of Oliver Cromwell, the antiroyalist Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, for the establishment of utopian settlements in England. Plockhoy returned to Netherlands in 1661 and in 1662 concluded a contract with the Amsterdam magistrates for the establishment of a settlement on ...
Emigrant's Map and Guide for Routes to North America
This map by Gotthelf Zimmermann reflects the importance of German immigration to North America in the mid-19th century. When the Revolution of 1848 failed to produce desired reforms within the German confederation, droves of disillusioned Germans turned their sights abroad. Maps such as this helped show them the way. At the time, land in the United States was cheap, fertile, and plentiful, making it an ideal choice for immigrants eager to establish new settlements and to begin new lives. German communities in the United States became so prevalent that on ...
Don't Be Fooled, Stay with Germany!
This poster, published in Berlin in 1919, shows a Polish man sitting on a Polish border gate and gesturing to a couple to go to Poland. Behind him are clouds forming an image of a man with plenty to eat. The couple on the German side of the border walks by; the arm of the German man is raised as if to shield the couple from the image, and the text warns, “Don't be fooled, stay with Germany!” Following the defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I ...
Many Peoples - One Nation
During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson and other U.S. political leaders were concerned about disunity among the American people. They were particularly anxious that so-called hyphenated Americans, Americans born abroad or of foreign heritage, might prove disloyal. For example, Irish-Americans might be bitter at British rule in Ireland or German-Americans could be sympathetic to Germany. In response, U.S. leaders launched a widespread “Americanization” campaign involving both government agencies and private organizations. This poster, with the slogan “Many peoples - one nation. Let us unite to Americanize America,” was ...
This is What the Polish Emigrants Look Like
This 1919 poster was produced as part of the campaign to convince ethnic Germans in Upper Silesia to vote to keep the province German after World War I. The poster appeals to German voters by depicting destitute ethnic Germans leaving Poland. The complete text reads: “This is what the Polish emigrants look like, and you'll look like this too if Silesia becomes part of Poland. Upper Silesians! Stay with the new Germany!” Located in present-day southwestern Poland, Upper Silesia was originally a Polish territory that over the centuries passed ...