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Douglass W Bailey as a producer: What was Angel Island?

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Link to video at:

Exploring and expanding the anthropology as an academic profession, the leading American anthropologists Douglass W Bailey has produced a documentary on Angel Island, San Francisco.

The video with open access at for watching and sharing is of professional interest for anthropologists, genealogists, archaeologists and visual culturists, as well as for wider public. Genealogists will see many documentary photos and a context of immigration records, while anthropologists may like the combination of variety of records including archaeological finds, photo-documentary and contemporary interest in the island.

From the transcripts of the video:

Breck Parkman Senior California State Park Archaeologist

The fact that Angel Island is now a state park means that it belongs to all of us, it's a public land. And the mission of state parks is not only to protect the important natural, cultural resources found on Angel Island but to find ways to allow the public to come and to learn and to recreate and to appreciate everything that Angel Island has to offer.

People do that regularly. They come to the island and ride bicycles around the island or they take hikes to the top of mount Livermore. They go on tours of historic structures.

Often they will go on a self-guided tour; they'll find their own way around the island and, see all the historic structures. People come out and they go picnicking. People sail boats over and dock at Ayala Cove. They spend the day. Sometimes people come out and spend the night on their boats in Ayala Cove. Kids come on school trips and some of the kids come and they the night at Camp Reynolds through what we call our Environmental Living Program. So the public comes to better understand and appreciate that history.

Daniel Quan, Interactive Exhibit Designer

There were many immigration stations set up all around the United States at all the ports of entry. On the West Coast, Angel Island was the principle or largest one at the time that it was set up. It was in operation from 1910 to 1940, and one of the main reasons that it was set up on the island was because it was a place of isolation, much like Ellis Island was in New York. It was a way to make sure that immigrants didn't jump ship when they arrived in port, as was the case that was often happening. So it was a way to control the arrival of immigrants and to make sure that no body was trying to escape.

Teri Pope, Interpreter I, California State Parks

I run the high school Living History Programs here at Angel Island, including this one that's taking place today: kids come here and have a twenty-four hour living history experience as Civil War soldiers. Because this was a Civil War site, we also conduct reenactments throughout the year.

This is Camp Reynolds and it was the first site the Army used on Angel Island. It was used from 1863 up until the early 1930s but, what our teachers are primarily interested in is the Civil War period, 1863 to ‘65. Camp Reynolds was an artillery site created because of the fear that Confederate ships were going to come into the Bay and take the gold that was leaving to support the Union war effort. About 50 million dollars a year were coming out of California. So, the Army had cannons here; it had cannons out on Alcatraz and also on both sides of the Golden Gate, at Fort Point.


Douglass W Bailey at

Douglass W Bailey at



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