Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Willard E. Schmidt Papers
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (92.91 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Organizational History
  • Bibliography and references cited
  • Related Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Subject Headings

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Willard E. Schmidt Papers
    Dates: 1942-1945
    Bulk Dates: 1944
    Collection number: MSS-2007-09-01
    Creator: Schmidt, Willard
    Collection Size: 2 boxes (1 linear foot)
    Repository: San José State University. Library.
    San José, California 95192-0028
    Abstract: The Willard Schmidt collection, documents some of the administrative duties of Willard Schmidt, the Chief of Internal Security for the War Relocation Authority and the Tule Lake Internment/ Segregation Camp. This collection contains adminitrative records and photos documenting the Tule Lake Internment/ Segregation center.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    Willard Schmidt Papers, MSS-2007-08-01, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated to the San José State University Library by Maureen H. Schmidt in March of 1992.

    Processing History

    Collection processed and encoded by Russell Rader in 2007.

    Organizational History

    Willard Schmidt was the National Chief of Internal Security for the War Relocation Authority. In February of 1944 he was assigned to the Tule Lake Internment Center to act as its Chief of Internal Security and to assist in its transformation from an internment center into a segregation camp. Following executive 9066, the War Relocation Authority constructed 11 internment centers between 1942 and 1946 in order to segregate and house approximately 110,000 Japanese-American men, women and children. In 1943 the War Relocation Authority and Selective Service produced a two question "loyalty questionnaire" for Japanese internees to fill out. The questionnaire identified who might be considered appropriate for the armed services or repatriation outside the centers, and who might be considered a possible threat to national security. The questions proved confusing and those who answered "no" to both were removed from their respective internment centers and sent to the Tule Lake high-security segregation camp.
    Internal security for the internment centers was maintained by a special police force composed largely of able-bodied evacuee residents and headed by a non-evacuee chief as well as a few non-evacuee assistants. Larger issues of misdemeanors and other similar offenses were ordinarily handled by the Project Director or by a judicial commission made up of evacuee residents. Tule Lake segregation center housed over 18,000 internees between 1942 and 1946. In addition to a heavily fortified perimeter Tule Lake was further isolated by the inclusion of a full battalion of soldiers accompanied by tanks. Tule Lake experienced a turbulent history including: strikes, protests and an declaration of martial law which lasted from November 14th, 1943 until October 15, 1943. During martial law, over 350 dissidents were sent to the stockade and 1,200 internees were sent to Department of Justice internment camps.

    Bibliography and references cited

    Shirai, Noboru. Tule Lake: an Issei memoir. Translated by Ray Hosoda. Edited by Eucaly Shirai and Valerie Samson. Sacramento: Muteki Press, 2001.

    Ng, Wendy L. Japanese American internment during World War II: a history and reference guide. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2002.

    Kitagawa, Daisuke. Issei and nisei; the internment years. New York: Seabury Press, 1967

    Takei, Barbara and Judy Tachibana. Tule Lake revisited : a brief history and guide to the Tule Lake Internment Camp Site Sacremento: T&T Press, 2001.

    Weglyn, Michi. Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America's Concentration Camps. New York: Morrow, 1976

    Related Material

    Flaherty Collection: Japanese Internment Records, 1921-1966, 1942 bulk at San José State University, Archives and Special Collections
    Norman Y. Mineta Papers, 1975-1996 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection documents many aspects of Willard Schmidt's duties as the Chief of Internal Security for the Tule Lake Internment/ Segregation Camp from 1943-1945. It contains "release from stockade" requests, Advisory and Co-coordinating committee meeting minutes, various memoranda and reports, photos of internees and officers as well as copies of interment camp newspapers.


    This collection is arranged into a single series: Series I. Internal Security

    Subject Headings

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
    World War. 1939-1945 -- Concentration camps -- California -- Tule Lake.
    Tule Lake Relocation Center
    United States. War Relocation Authority