15 Colorized Photos of Immigrants at the Ellis Island Immigration Station from the Early 20th Century

The photographs were taken by an immigration official named Augustus Frederick Sherman. He took photographs of immigrants who were being detained for further interrogation, whether for medical or other reasons. Some would be permitted to stay while others would be forced to return to the homes they risked so much to leave.

Sherman requested that his subjects open their trunks and wear the traditional dress of their homelands, resulting in more than 200 striking photographs of Guadeloupeans, Bavarians, Romanians and Laplanders—men and women whose chief similarity was their wish to become Americans.

To help bring out the vitality of these historic images, TIME commissioned freelance photo editor Sanna Dullaway to colorize a selection of them.

Portrait of a Ruthenian woman at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1906.
Portrait of a Guadeloupean woman at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1911
Portrait of Dutch siblings at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1905.
Portrait of a Bavarian man at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1905.
Portrait of a Romanian woman at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, circa 1905-1914.
Portrait of a Laplander woman from Finland at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1905.
Portrait of an Algerian man at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, circa 1905-1914.
Portrait of Lapland children, possibly from Sweden at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, circa 1905-1914.
Portrait of an Albanian soldier at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, circa 1905-1914.
Portrait of a Dutch woman at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, circa 1905-1914.
Portrait of a German stowaway at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1911.
Portrait of a Cossack man from the steppes of Russia at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, circa 1905-1914.
Portrait of three women from Guadeloupe at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1911.
Portrait of a Romanian shepherd at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1906.
Portrait of an Italian woman at the Ellis Island Immigration Station, 1906.

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