The Statue of Liberty Inscription, “The New Colossus,” was written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 and then made into a bronze plaque placed inside the Statue of Liberty. Learn more about visiting the Statue of Liberty Museum and seeing the the New Colossus.

The New Colossus – Statue of Liberty Inscription

Statue of Liberty InscriptionStatue of Liberty Inscription, “The New Colossus”

The New Colossus,” written by Emma Lazarus in 1883, was memorialized in 1903 with a bronze plaque placed on the inner walls of the Statue’s pedestal. It is currently displayed in the Statue of Liberty Museum.

The New Colossus has come to symbolize the statue’s universal message of hope and freedom for immigrants coming to America and people seeking freedom around the world.

The original handwritten sonnet is housed at the American Jewish Historical Society.

Statue of Liberty Inscription – The New Colossus

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!"

cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your


Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

American Jewish Historical Society

The New Colossus Statue of Liberty Inscription

The Statue of Liberty Inscription is housed in the Reading Room. FREE!

Monday – 9:30 am-7:30 pm, Tues-Thurs – 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Friday – 9:30 am to 1:30 pm

Become a Sponsor Member of the American Jewish Historical Society, and receive this framed, matted reproduction of Emma Lazarus’ handwritten manuscript for the sonnet “The New Colossus.”

Photo: "The New Colossus" at the AJHS

Among the treasures at the American Jewish Historical Society are the first American book published in Hebrew; the handwritten original of Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus, the Statue of Liberty Inscription; records of the nation’s leading Jewish communal organizations and important collections in the fields of education, philanthropy, science, sports, business and the arts. Founded in 1892, AJHS is the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the nation. AJHS is one of five partner organizations at The Center for Jewish History in Manhattan and has a branch at Hebrew College in Boston.


Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 212-294-6160

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Learn more about visiting the Statue of Liberty Inscription at the Statue of Liberty Museum.

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Nearby Attractions: Wall Street, Financial District, City Hall, South Street Seaport, Battery Park City

Filed under: Museums, NYC Financial District, NYC Tourist Attractions

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