Aug.1, 2010 Update:
On Aug.2, 2010 the Immigrant Memorial will be closed for restoration and upgrades. The museum will be closed to visitation for a year.
According to the museum, works will cost $3.5 million and involve requalification in environmental sustainability, accessibility for people with disabilities and reduced mobility, collection security and thermal comfort. The museum will also gain a 150-seat auditorium and new shop and café facilities.
You can still search the museum's archives at Arquivo do Estado de São Paulo (www.arquivoestado.sp.gov.br), phone 55-11-2089-8151.
Overview of the Immigrant Memorial:
The Immigrant Memorial is a museum that preserves the history and heritage of immigrants in São Paulo State.
Located in Brás, a São Paulo neighborhood whose origin is closely associated to the arrival of Italian workers and their families in the nineteenth century, the museum headquarters is the old Immigrants' Lodge, built between 1886 and 1888, where newly arrived immigrants could stay for up to eight days before moving on to their final destination in Brazil.
The exhibits at the Immigrant Memorial help tell the story of immigration in São Paulo State and in São Paulo, capital, through photographs and objects.
The ocean routes taken by the immigrants' ships are visible on a huge moving globe in the Navigation Room, which resembles the deck of a ship.
Photographs depict the immigrants' saga: their arrival in Santos or Rio de Janeiro, the trains which transported coffee to the Santos port and took immigrants to the farms, daily life on the coffee farms, and the activities immigrants took up when they moved in great numbers to the city at the end of the nineteenth century.
In one of the rooms, fabric sculptures in natural size made by artist Suzy Gheler represent people from more than 20 countries. The São Paulo Antiga exhibit recreates scenes from old São Paulo.
Every year in June, the Immigrant Memorial hosts the Immigrant Festival.
More than 30 nationalities participate in the festival, which is held on the Immigrant Memorial patio.
Immigrant Memorial Archives:
A great volume of information about immigrants in Brazil is available in the Immigrant Memorial. The Memorial library is open to the general public for consultation.
In the files, there are 109 registration books (1882 – 1930) on microfilm, dating back to the previous headquarters of the Immigrants' Lodge, in a building in Bom Retiro, another São Paulo neighborhood.
Testimonies from immigrants are an important part of the archives. The Memorial has collected testimonies from elderly immigrants and saved them in written files and videos.
Files can be accessed by request. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org]/p]
Online Immigration Data:
Immigration statistics used to be available online. Now you need to request information about the entry of immigrants in Brazil, available by periods.
From 1870-1907, there's information about German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and other immigrants. From 1908-1953, there's data about German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and other immigrants.
Immigration statistics in Brazil denote the relation between immigrant entries and the end of slavery in the country in 1888. Many European and Japanese immigrants supplied a need for agricultural labor in the post-liberation economy.
Immigrant Memorial - Contact Information & Directions:
Address: Rua Visconde de Parnaíba 1316
Closest subway station: Bresser-Mooca (Red line)
The museum is one of the featured attractions in Turismetrô, the São Paulo subway tour program.
Phone for Archives: 11-6693–0917 ext. 212
Hours, Admission & Special Activities:
Hours: Tue-Sun, 10a-5p
Admission: R$ 4. Free for seniors over 60 and children under 7.
Train ride: Sundays and holidays, R$ 5-R$ 6
Tram ride: Sundays only, R$ 2
Movie showings: Sat, 2p. Free.