Our Work

Sharing the

immigrant experience

Visitors to Ellis Island connect with their family’s past and explore the vast story of global immigration.

Ellis Island symbolizes the hope, renewal and opportunity associated with immigration.

ESI Design created two distinct experiences for the National Immigration Museum that bring this spirit to life.

American Family Immigration History Center
The core experience at the museum enables visitors to search over 22 million passenger records and 3.5 million digitized ship manifests for their family members who arrived at the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924. At the museum and on the Web, visitors can locate relatives and see the wealth of information collected from passengers at debarkation points. They can also print a copy of the manifest that bears a relative’s name and a photograph of the ship that carried him or her to Ellis Island. In collaboration with the National Park Service, ESI also designed the Center’s physical environment, which complements the historic building.

Peopling of America Center
To make the Ellis Island experience relevant for families who did not pass through Ellis Island, ESI more recently designed an additional experience called the Peopling of America Center (POAC). Opened in two parts in 2011 and 2015, these exhibitions tell the story of American immigration before the processing station opened in 1892 and after it closed in 1954. By creatively combining dynamic video with interactive installations, ambient sound and interpretive graphics, ESI created an immersive environment that gives visitors a first-hand sense of the immigrant experience in each time period.

Read more about the tech design behind the exhibits on our ESI Design blog.

Experience Design

Concept

Content

Data Visualization

Media

Software

Exhibits

Games

Graphics

Interiors

Sound

Staff Training

Systems

Wayfinding

Activities

Identity

Production

"New exhibitions at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration complete a demanding assignment: to tell the entire story of immigration to the United States."

The New York Times

2 million visitors per year

AWARDS

2002 AIGA Annual Design Awards – Winner, Experience Design

2001 Creativity Annual 31 – Website Award

Latest

In The News
New Yorker Spotlight: Michael Schneider on Telling Tales of Immigration on Ellis Island Using Technology
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What’s new in New York?
Independent.ie
Press Releases
ESI Design Brings Sweeping New Dynamic and Interactive Exhibits to Ellis Island’s New National Immigration Museum
In The News
Your Tired, Your Poor and Your Xenophobes at a Rebuilt and Re-Envisioned Ellis Island
The New York Times
Design Thinking
ESI Design Tech Perspective: Reflecting on the New Ellis Island Exhibits
In The News
Museum Exhibit Expands Upon Ellis Island’s Story
Big News Network
In The News
Museum Exhibit Expands on Ellis’s Story
Voice of America
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Technology and Immigrant Tales Collide at Ellis Island
Engadget
In The News
Glimpsing the Past, by Way of Ellis Island
The Wall Street Journal
In The News
Ellis Island expands its immigration story
Daily Freeman Lifestyle
In The News
How Ellis Island Survived Hurricane Sandy
Daily Beast
In The News
Ellis Island’s Peopling of America Center set to open: ‘The story is now complete’
NJ.com
In The News
Ellis Island’s Revamped Museum Offers Revamped Look at Immigrant Experience
AM NY
In The News
Sneak Peak: New National Immigration Museum at Ellis Island
USA Today
In The News
Ellis Island Museum to Update the Story of Immigration in America
The New York Times
In The News
The Whole Story
The Statue of Liberty Magazine
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Over Here, Over There
PRINT
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Ellis Island visitors to get history lesson on Dalton
The Daily Citizen

Related Work

Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration

New York, NY • 2011

Sharing the

immigrant experience

Visitors to Ellis Island connect with their family’s past and explore the vast story of global immigration.

Ellis Island symbolizes the hope, renewal and opportunity associated with immigration.

ESI Design created two distinct experiences for the National Immigration Museum that bring this spirit to life.

American Family Immigration History Center
The core experience at the museum enables visitors to search over 22 million passenger records and 3.5 million digitized ship manifests for their family members who arrived at the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924. At the museum and on the Web, visitors can locate relatives and see the wealth of information collected from passengers at debarkation points. They can also print a copy of the manifest that bears a relative’s name and a photograph of the ship that carried him or her to Ellis Island. In collaboration with the National Park Service, ESI also designed the Center’s physical environment, which complements the historic building.

Peopling of America Center
To make the Ellis Island experience relevant for families who did not pass through Ellis Island, ESI more recently designed an additional experience called the Peopling of America Center (POAC). Opened in two parts in 2011 and 2015, these exhibitions tell the story of American immigration before the processing station opened in 1892 and after it closed in 1954. By creatively combining dynamic video with interactive installations, ambient sound and interpretive graphics, ESI created an immersive environment that gives visitors a first-hand sense of the immigrant experience in each time period.

Read more about the tech design behind the exhibits on our ESI Design blog.

"New exhibitions at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration complete a demanding assignment: to tell the entire story of immigration to the United States."

The New York Times