• Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America by Erika Lee and Judy Yung
    In this landmark book commemorating the immigration station’s 100th anniversary, Lee and Yung provides a sweeping yet personal history of Chinese “paper sons,” Japanese picture brides, Korean refugee students, South Asian political activists, Russian and Jewish refugees, Mexican families, Filipino repatriates, and many others from around the world.  Their experiences on Angel Island reveal how America’s discriminatory immigration policies changed the lives of immigrants and transformed the nation. AIISF recommends Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America as a definitive source of U.S. Immigration Station history.

  • At America’s Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 by Erika Lee
    Drawing on a rich trove of historical sources—including immigration records, oral histories, and letters—Lee explores how Chinese exclusion laws not only transformed Chinese American lives, immigration patterns, identities, and families but also recast the United States into a “gatekeeping nation.”

  • Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel Island by Robert Eric Barde
    Barde examines the history of Asian passenger steamship travel and immigration through Angel Island.  The voices of a century ago—of exclusion, bureaucratic and judicial nightmares, fear of foreigners and their diseases, and moral ambiguity and uncertainty—all echo to the present day.

  • Images of America: Angel Island. By Bramwell Fanning and William Wong
    This photo history book has an extensive chapter on the history of the immigration station and on AIISF's efforts to preserve the site.

  • Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910 - 1940 by Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, Judy Yung
    This book contains an overview history of the immigration station, provides expanded oral history excerpts from former detainees, and documents 135 poems written on the walls in Chinese with English translations. AIISF recommends Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940 as the first, and most reliable source for Chinese poetry translations inside the detention barracks.

  • Miwoks to Missiles: A History of Angel Island by John Soennichsen
    This book covers over two hundred years of the island’s history, from the Miwok Indians and Spanish explorers to the U.S. military, establishment of the immigration station, and transition into a state park. The author’s use of historic photographs and personal recollections bring the island and its people to life.

  • Making and Remaking Asian America Through Immigration Policy, 1850-1990 by Bill Ong Hing
    This is the first comprehensive study of how U.S. immigration policies have shaped - demographically, economically, and socially - the six largest Asian American communities: Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Asian Indian.

  • The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee
    A “comprehensive…fascinating” (The New York Times Book Review) history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, by one of the nation’s preeminent scholars on the subject.

Young Adult, Ages 12+

  • The Chinese American Family Album by Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler
    This resource traces the experiences of Chinese Americans using historic photographs, diary selections, letters, oral histories, and newspaper articles. The section on Angel Island includes poems and oral histories from former detainees.

  • The Chinese Exclusion Act and Angel Island by Judy Yung
    The Chinese Exclusion Act and Angel Island will introduce students to a broader and more inclusive vision of U.S. immigration history and, ultimately, a better understanding of the world we live in.

  • The Dragon’s Child: A Story of Angel Island by Laurence & Kathleen S. Yep
    Based on the author’s family history and research at the National Archives, this is the story of ten-year-old Gim Lew’s journey from his village in China to America and his trepidation about passing the grueling test at Angel Island.

  • The Japanese American Family Album by Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler
    This resource documents the lives of Japanese Americans, including their stay at Angel Island, through their diaries, letters, interviews, photos, newspaper articles, and personal reflections.

Children, Ages 7 - 11

  • Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain by Russell Freedman
    Newberry Medal winner Freedman presents a thorough history of the immigration station in historical context, with many excellent photographs interspersed with poetry. Ages 10 - 11

  • Good Fortune: My Journey to Gold Mountain by Li Keng Wong
    Wong, a former detainee and teacher, shares the story of her journey to the United States from China through the Angel Island Immigration Station, and her family’s life in Oakland Chinatown. Ages 8 – 11

  • Kai's Journey to Gold Mountain by Katrina Saltonstall Currier
    This picture book for children is based on former detainee and San Francisco resident Albert Wong’s experience on Angel Island as a twelve-year old as he leaves China and journeys alone to “Gold Mountain” or America, to live with his father. Ages 7+

  • Landed by Milly Lee (illustrated by Yangsook Choi)
    In this picture book for children, Lee draws upon her father-in-law’s experience to tell the story of a Chinese immigrant boy coming through Angel Island  to join his father in America. Ages 7 – 11

  • Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America by Helen Foster James and Virginia Shin-Mui Loh (illustrated by Wilson Ong)
    James and Loh tell the story of twelve-year old Lee, who leaves his family to come to America as a paper son and is questioned on Angel Island. Ages 7 - 11


Museum Exhibits