American Identity Explorer

The American Identity Explorer: Immigration and Migration is an interactive, multimedia CD-ROM seminar and archive that explores mass migration to and within the U.S. from the 1890s to the 1920s.


The American Identity Explorer: Immigration and Migration focuses on global migration and the social processes by which millions left places of origin in Europe, Asia, Mexico, and the American South, and traveled to new destinations, especially to urban industrial America. It also depicts a range of reactions by Americans to mass immigration and migration, reflecting contemporary movements to restrict immigration and to Americanize and modernize the newcomers.


The CD-ROM also explores the experiences of the newcomers in the places they settled, concentrating on seven migrating groups in six cities--New York, Chicago, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It examines the conditions newcomers encountered in the neighborhoods and work places where they clustered, the social and cultural lives they transplanted and created, and their interactions with America and Americans.


The immigration and migration collection is organized in two major parts, Global Views and American Cities. Global Views contains four major sections titled Origins, Arrivals, Destinations, and Reactions. Migrating groups can be followed from their places of origin through several American border stations to interior destinations. American Cities includes six major city sections sub organized by migrating groups--17 exhibits in all. The groups include African-Americans, Italians, East European Jews, Poles, Mexicans, Chinese, and Japanese.


The collection brings together several thousand photos, maps, documents, works of art, texts, and faculty comments. In all, it represents a unique compilation, with more content than individuals can view in a limited time. The archive is conceived as an interactive learning environment into which individuals can enter and initiate their own explorations. Accompanied by advanced viewing, searching, note taking, and organizing tools, the collection provides a rich base to explore a variety of issues and topics related to immigration, migration, and American identity.

Copyright © 2002-2015 Andrew Kurtz