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Spotlight Series Displays Master List: Angel Island

Spotlight Series” displays are meant to connect the library to the UI cultural houses and resource centers.

Asian Immigrants Arriving at Angel Island

ARTstor Slide Gallery, 1911, Data from: University of California, San Diego


The U.S. Immigration Station, a National Historic Landmark, is located on Angel Island in San Francisco bay, near the Tiburon peninsula. What Ellis Island symbolizes to Americans of European heritage who immigrated to the east coast, Angel Island symbolizes to Americans of Asian heritage on the West Coast. In 1905, the War Department, which managed Angel Island, transferred 20 acres of land to the Department of Commerce and Labor for the establishment of a U.S. immigration station. In the years that the Immigration station operated on Angel Island (1910-40), it has been estimated that approximately one million people were processed through the station. Out of this number, approximately 250,000 Chinese and 150,000 Japanese immigrants were detained at the Station. Small numbers of immigrants from other Pacific Rim countries, including Russia, Korea, and the Philippines were also detained at the Station, but only briefly.

Angel Island

In the quiet of night, I heard, faintly, 

the whistling of wind.

The forms and shadows saddened me; upon

seeing the landscape, I composed a poem.

The floating clouds, the fog, darken the sky.

The moon shines faintly as the insects chirp.

Grief and bitterness entwined are heaven sent.

The sad person sits alone, leaning by a window. 

Angel Island