Tens of thousands of archival papers. Nineteen thousand artifacts. The thousands of donated items, carefully chosen by immigrants to bring to America—from Bibles to pasta makers to musical instruments.

In all, one big packing job for the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The magnificently restored 113-year-old building, where the story of America’s great immigration is told, is now largely empty, its walls stripped of exhibits of passports, steamship posters, immigrant manifests and much more.

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