12 Portraits of Ellis Island Immigrants

12 million people of every nationality imaginable passed through Ellis Island during its operation. The building opened in 1892, but five years later burned completely to the ground. A new, larger building was constructed to process 5,000 immigrants per day. On April 17th, 1907, 11,747 immigrants were processed.

People fled to America because of war, famine and a lack of opportunity. In certain cases entire villages of people packed up and moved – bringing with them customs, cuisine and culture.

The portraits in this series were taken by Augustus Sherman. Sherman worked as a clerk at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1925. His portraits of the people who passed through the Island were not official documents. They were merely the results of a man fascinated by foreign culture.

From the New York Public Library.

Timothy O’Sullivan is best known for his haunting battlefield images of the American Civil War, but after the war O’Sullivan continued his rich and lasting photography career. O’Sullivan joined the United States Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel in 1867. From 1871 to 1874 he took part in a survey west of the 100th meridian. O’Sullivan’s photographs of the Southwest were used to recruit settlers, but more importantly they provide a glimpse into the lives of the Southwestern American Indian tribes, and a peek into pre-industrialized western landscapes.

The following animated gif wigglegrams were created from scans of original stereographs from O’Sullivan’s photographs using the New York Public Library’s Stereogranimator website (created by Joshua Heineman).

From the New York Public Library.


13 Vintage Mugshot Photographs from Newcastle upon Tyne

From the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

“This mug shot comes from a police identification book believed to be from the 1930s. It was originally found in a junk shop by a member of the public and subsequently donated to Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.” -Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

“No information is available to confirm which police force compiled it, but evidence suggests it’s from the Newcastle upon Tyne area.”