Guide to the Robert Billigmeier Collection CEMA 60

Finding aid prepared by CEMA staff
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California, 93106-9010
Phone: (805) 893-3062
Email:; URL:

Title: Robert Billigmeier collection
Identifier/Call Number: CEMA 60
Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2.5 linear feet (4 document boxes and 1 photo box)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1942-1943
Date (inclusive): 1940-1987
Abstract: The Robert Billigmeier collection holds some of the documents of the University of California's Evacuation and Resettlement Study begining in 1942. The collection contains reports conducted under the direction of University of California, Berkeley Professor Dorothy Swain Thomas. There are also publications such as Professor's Dorothy Swaine Thomas' book The Spoilage and the WRA: A Story of Human Conservation. There is a scrapbook produced by the students at Tule Lake, photographs of the internment camp and photos of Billigmeier's personal life.
General Physical Description note: Four document boxes and one photo box
creator: Billigmeier, Robert Henry

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

Conditions Governing Access note


Series Description

Series I Research Studies, 1942-1987
This series includes the Tule Lake Monograph, by Robert Billigmeier, written in 1976. It also contains the subseries of The University of California study of evacuation and resettelment at Tule Lake, composed by various authors. The study is arranged according to an outline provided in the study. There are also three writings composed by Robert Spencer on the Gila River internment camp and two post internment camp articles.
Series II Publications, 1942-1979
Series two is composed of two subseries, the first subseries being Newsletters, Newspaper and Magazines. It contains newsletters published in the early 40's and in 1950. It also holds newspapers and magazines published at Tule Lake from 1942-1943. The second subseries is Books and Booklets, concerning Tule Lake and other Japanese-American internment camps, composed by a variety of authors. The books and booklets are arranged alphabetically.
Series III Scrapbook, 1942
This is a scrapbook created in Tule Lake by the Japanese-American students.
Series IV Photographs, 1939-1952
This Photograph album contains approximately 300 black and white photographs of Billigmeier's personal life and his stay at Tule Lake.

Scope and Contents note

The Robert Billigmeier Collection contains photographs, a scrapbook, published and unpublished documents regarding the Tule Lake Relocation Center from 1942 to 1943. However, the entire collection ranges from 1940 to 1987. Series I contains research reports concerning the organization of Tule Lake and experiences undergone by the students, as seen through the students personality cards. In the personality cards students wrote about their day and their feelings regarding specific topics such as democracy. The series also contains documents written after 1943 such as the monograph, "Tule Lake in 1976," by Robert Billigmeier, "A Victim of the Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS)" by Violet Kazue de Cristoforo in 1987 and "Educational Norms in Japanese Immigrant Communities" written by Katsuhiko in 1976. Series II contains Tule Lake publications such as the Tri State High Magazine, Tulean Dispatch Magazine and books such as Impounded People: Japanese-Americans in the Relocation Centers, and The Displaced Japanese-Americans previously titled Issei Nisei Kibei in Fortune magazine. Series III contains a scrapbook created by the students at the relocation center in 1942. Series IV consists of photographs dating from 1939 to 1952. The photos are from the Tule Lake relocation center and of Billigmeiers personal life, including his graduation and family trips.

Biographical/Historical note

Robert Billigmeier (1914-1996) was a UCSB Sociology professor who specialized in the areas of demographics, social movements and European and American ethnic groups. He was very interested in the Romansh Culture. In 1951 he earned his PH.D. on the history of the Romansh Culture from Stanford University. Billigmeier provided many scholarly contributions such as A Crisis in Swiss Pluralism published in 1979. The book provided an extensive analysis on the history of the Raeto Romansh over the past thousand years. He also wrote books about Swiss immigrants in America and German Americans.
In the autumn of 1942 he was employed at the Tule Lake Relocation Center as a field research assistant on the Evacuation and Resettlement Study of the University of California. During his research at Tule Lake he observed the Japanese-American interns and the overall lifestyle at the internment camps. Twenty-four years later, 1976, he worked on a monograph of Tule Lake which includes diary excerpts, short essays and letters by Japanese-American high school students written in the Tule Lake relocation center.
Billigmeier was also actively involed in the UCSB, Santa Barbara and Switzerland communities. At UCSB he was the foreign student advisor from 1955 to 1963, associate director for the Education Abroad Program from 1964 to 1976 and member and supporter of the Faculty Club. In Santa Barbara he worked for international cooperation, fair housing and family planning. While visiting Swizerland he became involved with community organizations for the preservation of the Romansh culture.

Related Archival Materials note

Harold S. Jacoby Nisei Collection, Mss27, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
Japanese American evacuation and resettlement records, BANC MSS 67/14 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Preferred Citation note

Robert Billigmeier Collection, CEMA 60, Department of Special Collections, University Library, University of California, Santa Barbara

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Tule Lake Relocation Center.
Japanese -- United States
Newly cataloged
World War, 1939-1945 -- Evacuation of civilians


Series I Research Studies 1942-1987

Box 1, Folder 1-32

Monograph, Tule Lake 1976


University of California study of evacution and resettlement at Tule Lake 1942-1943

Box 1, Folder 33

Outline of University of California study of evacuation and resettlement December 1, 1942

Box 1, Folder 34

An introduction to Tule Lake by Shibutahi November 10, 1942

Box 1, Folder 35-37

The first six months at Tule Lake

Box 2, Folder 1-4

Social structure of the community

Box 2, Folder 5-6

The co-op movement in Tule Lake November 15, 1942

Box 2, Folder 7-8

The Christian church in Tule Lake by James Sakoda October 1, 1942

Box 2, Folder 9

Buddhist church by Dr. Thomas

Box 2, Folder 10

History of the Tule Lake Union Church as told to James Sakoda by Rev. Kuroda by James Sakoda September 30, 1942

Box 2, Folder 11-14

Recreational organization by Frank Miyamoto

Box 2, Folder 15-16

Tule Lake recreation center community affairs report August 20-September 20, 1942

Box 2, Folder 17-18

Social groups: creative writers Caucasian-Japanese relationship by Mr. Cook

Box 2, Folder 19

Fire department of Tule Lake

Box 2, Folder 20

Legal aid department of Tule Lake

Box 2, Folder 21-22

Records office by James Sakoda Septemeber 17, 1942

Box 2, Folder 23

Scrap lumber conflict by James Sakoda September 16, 1942

Box 2, Folder 24-25

Broadcast affair Tule Lake

Box 2, Folder 26

Disorganization and reorganization, II disorganization of the family by Shibutani December 17, 1942

Box 2, Folder 27

Educational institutions December 12, 1942

Box 2, Folder 28-29

Social reoganization in Tule Lake by Shibutani January 2, 1943

Box 2, Folder 30-33

Messhalls in Tule Lake by James Sakoda

Box 2, Folder 34-35

Population and ecology

Box 2, Folder 36-39

Firebreak gang by Richard S. Nishimoto

Box 2, Folder 40

Miscellaneous scattered pages

Box 3, Folder 3-11

Personality cards chapters 1-14 1942-1943

Box 2, Folder 41

University of California, evacuation and settlement study by Robert Spencer

Box 2, Folder 42

The Gila River WRA relocation center, Rivers, Pinal County, Arizona by Robert Spencer August 23, 1942

Box 2, Folder 43-45

Recreational activities in the Gila community by Rober Spencer November 2, 1942

Box 2, Folder 46

Educational norms in Japanese immigrant communities by Katsuhiko May 1976

Box 3, Folder 1

The persistence of ethnic solidarity among the Japanese Americans of the San Francisco Bay Area: An exploratory study of communication in a community without an ecological base by Carl K. Mayeda Decemeber 1974

Box 3, Folder 2

A victim of the evacuation and resettlement study (JERS) by Violet Kazue de Cristoforo 1987


Series II Publications 1942-1979


Newsletter, Newspaper and Magazines 1942-1954

Box 3, Folder 12

The Daily Tulean Dispatch 1942-1943

Box 3, Folder 13

Japanese folk beliefs and practices, Tule Lake, California by Marvin K. Opler October-December, 1950

Box 3, Folder 14

Pacific Citizen (Salt Lake City, Utah) April 14, 1954

Box 3, Folder 15

Tri State High Magazine April 30, 1943

Box 3, Folder 16-19

Tulean Dispatch Magazine 1943


Books and Booklets

Box 4

Bosworth, Allan R. America's Concentration Camps. New York: W.W. Norton, 1967

Box 4

The displaced Japanese-Americans by American Council on Public Affairs (contains information on Issi, Neisi and Kibi) April 1944

Box 4

Eaton, Allen H. Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps. New York: Harper & Brothers 1952

Box 4

Miyakawa, Edward. Tule Lake. Waldport, Oregon: House by the Sea 1979

Box 4

Spicer, Edward II., et al. Impounded People: Japanese-Americans in the Relocation Centers. Tuscon: University of Arizona, Press 1969

Box 4

Thomas, Dorothy Swaine, and Richard S. Nishimoto. The Spoilage. Bekeley: University of California Press, 1964

Box 4

A Tule Lake interlude (The Harold S. Jacoby Nisei Collection includes a digital copy of this book on Online Archives of California. It is located at: ) May 27, 1942-1943

Box 4

United States Department of the Interior. War Relocation Authority. WRA: A story of Human Conservation.Washington, D.C.: Superintendent of Documents, GPO 1946


Series III Scrapbook 1942

Box 3, Folder 20

Tule Lake Scrapbook


Series IV Photographs 1939-1952

Acquisition Information

In 2003 David O'Kane donated a photo taken at Tule Lake Internment Camp on August 30, 1944 of the Procurement and Shoe Rationing Department. This has been added to the end of the photo album.
Box 5

Photo Album