The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive

About the Project

•  Source Materials
•  Technical Information
•  Staff Credits

The digitization and presentation of the materials in The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Digital Archive was generously supported by a grant award from the National Park Service as part of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Additional funds were provided by the UC Berkeley Library.

Starting in August 2011 and ending in March 2014, the project digitized nearly 100,000 original manuscript items and made them available on the Online Archive of California. A thematic website was designed and created to lead users to the data by various means, including textual searches using standardized vocabularies and visual mechanisms such as GIS tagging and interactive maps. The digital archive allows users to explore these primary source materials and connects them to related resources. As one of the Bancroft Library's most heavily used collections, this project ensures the long-term preservation of the original materials while providing unprecedented access through a central portal.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Source Materials

The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) was a research project initiated in 1942 at the University of California, Berkeley. It aimed to document and examine the mass internment of Japanese Americans by embedding Nisei social science students recruited from the Berkeley campus into selected internment sites. The Study also documented the resettlement phase in the city of Chicago. The collection is comprised of daily journals, field reports, life histories, and secondary research materials collected and compiled by the research staff. There is also extensive correspondence between staff, evacuees, and others. These records were deposited in the University Library in August 1948 by sociologist and Director of JERS, Dorothy Swaine Thomas.

The JERS staff concentrated on Tule Lake, Gila River, and Poston/Colorado River, with minor involvement at Topaz/Central Utah, Manzanar, and Minidoka. Material was also gathered from temporary detention centers, primarily the Tanforan and Tulare centers located in California. A complete list of confinement sites and temporary detention centers is available on the National Park Service website.

Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Staff:

Robert Billigmeier
(Tule Lake Relocation Center)

Virginia L. Galbraith

Morton Grodzins
(Berkeley and Chicago)

Rosalie Hankey (Wax)
(Gila River Relocation Center, Tule Lake Relocation Center)

Charles Kikuchi
(Tanforan Assembly Center, Gila River Relocation Center, Chicago)

Shotaro Frank Miyamoto
(Puyallup Assembly Center, Tule Lake Relocation Center, Chicago)

Haruo Najima
(Tanforan Assembly Center, Tule Lake Relocation Center, Minidoka Relocation Center)

Richard S. Nishimoto
(Poston Relocation Center, Berkeley)

James Sakoda
(Tulare Assembly Center, Tule Lake Relocation Center, Minidoka Relocation Center)

Tamotsu Shibutani
(Tanforan Assembly Center, Tule Lake Relocation Center, Chicago)

Robert F. Spencer
(Gila River Relocation Center)

Togo Tanaka
(Manzanar Relocation Center, Chicago)

Dorothy Swaine Thomas

Tamie Tsuchiyama
(Santa Anita Assembly Center, Poston Relocation Center)

Technical Information

The image production process conformed to the California Digital Library Digital Special Collections criteria as well as 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. All images were rotated for right read. If any image contained text in multiple directions, the image was rotated for the majority. Searchable PDFs were created at the folder level.

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

Staff Credits

The grant was initially conceived and written by David de Lorenzo, Head of Technical Services at The Bancroft Library, with contributions from library staff.

Theresa Salazar, Curator of The Bancroft Collection of Western Americana, and Teresa Mora, Principal Manuscripts Archivist at The Bancroft Library, served as the primary selectors of manuscript material and advised on the care and handling of materials.

Margo Padilla was the Digital Project Archivist and managed the coordination and production of the project and the development of the digital archive. She created the wireframes, wrote the text, and selected the images for the website.

Mary W. Elings, Archivist for Digital Collections at The Bancroft Library, oversaw production for the project and provided technical expertise.

The Library Applications & Publishing Group at UC Berkeley provided the technical support to create the website. Lynne Grigsby served as the technical project manager, Brooke Dykman built the website and contributed to design, David Zuckerman assisted as the database administrator, James Lake created the digital objects, and Giulia Hill (technical lead) and Kurt True (programmer) built the search display.

Dan Johnston from the UC Berkeley Library Digital Imaging Lab lent his expertise to the project, advising on imaging specifications, reviewing test images, and imaging oversized items from the selected materials.

John Ridener provided assistance and advice on creating the maps and constructed early templates. Lynne Grigsby and Giula Hill completed the maps and integrated them into the website.

Kelly Barrall was the Digital Project Manager for the project at Backstage Library Works.

Additional support in moving and storing manuscript materials was provided by The Bancroft Library Public Services staff.

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