Press/Journalists

Press Release
February 28, 2008

National Archives Makes Some Passenger Arrival Records Available Online

College Park, MD…For the first time, the National Archives and Records Administration has made available online more than 5.2 million records of some passengers who arrived during the last half of the 19th century at the ports of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia. The records were transcribed from original ship manifests into electronic databases by Temple University’s Center for Immigration Research at The Balch Institute. The Center donated the digital records to the National Archives. The records are known as Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Germans to the United States, 1850-1897; Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Italians to the United States, 1855-1900; and Data Files Relating to the Immigration of Russians to the United States, 1834-1897.

There are more than 100 unique “country” codes used in these records. In about 93 percent of them, passengers identified their country of origin or nationality as Germany, Italy, or Russia, or cities or regions of those countries. Passenger records typically include name, age, town of last residence, destination, and codes for the passenger’s sex, occupation, literacy, country of origin, transit and/or travel compartment, and the manifest identification number for the ship. Information on each ship is in a separate file and includes the ship manifest identification number, the name of the ship, the code for its port of departure, and date of arrival. The ship manifest identification number indicates the port of arrival.

Access to these new electronic records is available through the National Archives Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system, a research tool that makes a selection of the National Archives’ most popular electronic records available to the public over the Internet. The AAD system currently includes almost 80 million electronic records from 50 records series in 30 record groups, and four collections of donated historical materials. AAD highlights include records of passengers who arrived at the Port of New York during the Irish Famine, World War II Army enlistment and Prisoners of War, records of Japanese-American internment, and Central Foreign Policy Files from the Department of State.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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