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Immigrant City

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Since 2004 around April 17 the city celebrates Immigrant Heritage Week, an event in which the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and its partners host various events that celebrate our rich immigrant culture. Why is it celebrated around April 17? On that date in 1907, 11,747 individuals entered the country through Ellis Island, the highest number in New York City’s history.

As an immigrant myself I found a great refuge within The New York Public Library and took great comfort and courage in reading works of fiction about the immigrant experience. Today the library offers many resources for immigrants such as free ESOL classes, a list of helpful ESOL sites, and resources to help obtain citizenship.

In addition on any given day the library hosts multicultural programs for children, teens and adults. The library also boasts a robust world languages collection. The most popular circulating languages are Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Hebrew, French, Japanese, Italian and Vietnamese to name a few. To find out if we carry a title in your language you can narrow down your result in our catalog by clicking on Language.

The library also carries many foreign language newspapers such as El Diario, America oggi and the Nowy dziennik (Polish Daily News). If you would like to find out if the library carries newspapers in your language you can simply search by title in our catalog or ask your staff at your local branch.

Further Reading:

Lists from NYPL

The Immigrant Experience Through Literature
Descriptions of the immigrant experience by those who have lived it.

Immigrant Writings

Other lists

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Nice Photo Montage

Wow, what great portraits!

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