It is not easy to document the fate of emigrants. The wave of mass migrations affected Europe 100 and more years ago, and the vast majority of emigrants were simple people, who left no photographs or other material marks.
Some information about emigrants has been preserved in state archives. It includes mostly documentation regarding the issue of passports or sale of property. Due to official deeds, it is possible to establish the addresses of particular people; however, their homes often turn out to have been destroyed.
Emergence of the Internet increased the interest in genealogy. More and more people are looking for information about the lives of their ancestors. Genealogy websites, such as My Heritage, Family Search, JewishGen, Jewish Records Indexing or Jewish Genealogy Portal, are particularly helpful.
A number of museums have been devoted to emigration in numerous countries all over the world. The largest of them include the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island, New York – a former centre receiving immigrants from Europe. About 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. Detailed registers of emigrants are among the key resources of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Museums connected with emigration function e.g. also in Antwerp (Red Star Line Museum), Gdynia (Muzeum Emigracji), Melbourne (Immigration Museum) and San Paulo (Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo). They gather exhibits, source materials, archive photographs and recordings, as well as the findings of oral history.
Information about emigrants can be also found in other museums (e.g. POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, Jødisk Museum in Oslo), and in academic research centres, such as the E. Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Organisations and companies specialising in genealogical studies may also be helpful.