Project Information

Exclusion Order posted at First and Front Streets directing removal of persons of Japanese ancestry from the first San Francisco section to be affected by evacuation. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.--Photographer: Lange, Dorothea--San Francisco, California. 4/11/42

Image credit: Lange, Dorothea --San Francisco, California. 4/11/42

Japanese-American Confinement Sites project

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley holds a wealth of documentation on the incarceration of Japanese Americans before and during World War II.

In 1945, the War Relocation Authority (WRA) designated the University of California, Berkeley Library as the prime custodians for WRA records outside the National Archives. These records were combined with the records of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley to create the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records (BANC MSS 67/14 c). This collection provides an unprecedented picture of the Japanese American evacuation, relocation, incarceration, and resettlement during World War II. Since receiving the WRA records, the Bancroft has collected material from camp internees, civil rights activists, which enhance the picture with personal accounts and testimonies.

Japanese American Confinement Sites Program

In 2011, the Bancroft Library was awarded its first grant by the National Park Service's Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. What started as a two-year digitization project flourished into a now multi-grant digitization project digitizing nearly 250,000 primary source materials that focuses on Japanese-American experience during WWII. The selections consist of institutional records, personal documents, and formats like moving-image film, audio, maps, and artworks. Access to the digitized content is provided by the Online Archive of California, and Calisphere.

Starting in 2011 and ending in 2014, the first project digitized a selection of nearly 100,000 records from the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study initiated in 1942 at the University of California, Berkeley. The study, organized by UC Berkeley professors, recruited Nisei social science students, placing them into selected War Relocation Authority administered sites to document and examine the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans. The documentation they gathered complements the government generated records.

View the Japanese American Evacuation & Resettlement Study Digital Archive:

The second project conducted during 2014-2017, Voices in Confinement: A Digital Archive of Japanese American Internees, was a selection of 150,000 items with a focus on material created by Internees and representing the lives of the Japanese Americans during their confinement in World War II. The collections contain a mix of manuscripts and pictorial collections like those from Yoshiko Uchida and Hisako Hibi, the Ikeda family (internees at the camps) to Rosalie Wax, a researcher at the camps, and Wayne Collins, a lawyer, along with the War Relocation Authority Photograph collection.

Technical Specifications

Bancroft collections are digitized in accordance with imaging and metadata standards to preserve information for future generations of researchers and students. Image production conformed to the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials.

Digital image capture service was provided by Backstage Library Works. Backstage Library Works used a Phase One P40+ and Leaf Aptus II 12R digital camera. Materials were captured at 400 ppi. The digital master files are archived as 24-bit sRGB TIFF files.

Additional digital image capture service was provided by UC Berkeley's Digital Imaging Lab.


This project was funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.

This material received Federal financial assistance for the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted projects. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:
Office of Equal Opportunity
National Park Service
1201 Eye Street, NW (2740)
Washington, DC 20005

Special Thanks to Library Staff

Christina Bush, Digital Collections Student Assistant
David de Lorenzo, Former Head of Technical Services, The Bancroft Library
Jacob Dickerman, Digital Collections Student Assistant
Iris Donovan, Circulation Supervisor/Stacks Manager, The Bancroft Library
Mary W. Elings, Assistant Director and Head of Technical Services, The Bancroft Library
Lynne E. Grigsby, Head, Library IT
Ernie Hernandez, Digital Collections Student Assistant
Giulia Hill, Applications Team Leader, Library IT
Lori A. Hines, Pictorial Processing Archivist, The Bancroft Library
Meilin Huang, Financial Analyst, The Bancroft Library
Christine Huhn, Head, Imaging Services, Imaging Services Team, Library IT
Dan Johnston, Digital Imaging Specialist, Library IT
Sonia Kahn, Digital Collections Student Assistant
James Lake, Digital Projects Analyst, Library IT
Kris Leonardo, Financial Analyst, UC Berkeley Library Business Services
Isaac Liao, Digital Collections Student Assistant
Charlie Macquarie, Digital Project Archivist, The Bancroft Library
Julie Musson, Digital Collections Archivist, The Bancroft Library
Todd Parks, Developer, Applications Team, Library IT
Tim Pinault, Former Digital Projects Manager, Library IT
Alvin Pollock, Applications Programmer, Projects Team, Library IT
Theresa Salazar, Curator, The Bancroft Library
Casondra Sobieralski, Former Bancroft Web Services Analyst, Library IT
Lisa J. Weber, Project Manager, Library IT
David M. Zuckerman, Developer, Applications Team, Library IT