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Finding Aid to War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, 1942-1945 circa 1941-1947
BANC PIC 1967.014--PIC  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement
    Date (inclusive): circa 1941-1947
    Collection Number: BANC PIC 1967.014--PIC
    Photographer: War Relocation Authority Staff
    Extent: 88 volumes and 8 boxes (ca. 7000 photographic prints) : black and white; various sizes 317 Kodachrome slides : black and white and color 57 negatives : film, black and white 7040 digital objects
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    Abstract: Photographs document the evacuation of Japanese Americans and their life in various Relocation Camps across the United States. Post-war resettlement activities are also recorded.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection stored, in part, off-site. Advance notice required for use. Restricted negatives. Use of negatives only by permission of the Curator of Pictorial Collections, The Bancroft Library.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, 1942-1945, BANC PIC 1967.014--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Related Collections

    Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records, BANC MSS 67/14 c
    Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946: Field Basic Documentation Located at the National Archives...[microform], BANC FILM 1932

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945--Photographs
    Japanese--United States--History--20th century--Photographs

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement Photographs were originally part of the War Relocation Authority (WRA) portion of the Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement Papers. The WRA designated the University of California, Berkeley Library as the prime depository for WRA record materials outside the National Archives on September 7, 1945. The photographs were transferred with the papers to The Bancroft Library July 3, 1963.

    Processing Information

    Processing completed by project staff of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Project. Finding aid completed by project staff of the California Heritage Digital Image Access Project.
    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. 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.

    Organizational Note

    WRAs original organization has been maintained for Series 1-17. Within the container listing, Volume refers to the physical location where the Library has stored each photograph. Use this number when requesting an original or group of original photographs. Volumes "AX1" and "AX2" refer to oversize enlargements (see above) and should be requested as "BANC PIC 1967.014--AX box 1" (or box 2).
    Section refers to the WRA drawer number where the photographs were originally stored. Letters A-J (except I) were used and correspond to Series 1-17 as follows:
    Section A: Series 1-4
    Section B: Series 5-7
    Section C: Series 8-9
    Section D: Series 10-11
    Section E: Series 12
    Section F: Series 13
    Section G: Series 14
    Section H: Series 15
    Section J: Series 16-17
    WRA no. refers to WRA's original alpha-numeric numbering system. This alpha-numeric combination is written on the front of the photographs and used to arrange them within the volumes.
    Series 18 (Slides) was not numbered by WRA and therefore has only volume and item numbers within each of four sub-series.

    Scope and Content

    The War Relocation Authority (WRA) records represent the official documentation of the United States agency created to assume jurisdiction over the Japanese and Japanese Americans evacuated from California, Oregon, and Washington by the Western Defense Command, the Fourth Army, and the Wartime Civilian Control Administration (WCCA) during January/February of 1942. During its existence from March 1942 to 1946, the WRA controlled the administration of the relocation centers, administered an extensive resettlement program, and oversaw the details of the registration and segregation programs. Included in their records are administrative files, official publications, reports and surveys, legal papers, correspondence, and photographs and scrapbooks. All of the records except the photographs have been cataloged as BANC MSS 67/14 c.
    It is important to note that the photograph collection, as the official documentation of the WRA, reflects the point of view that the WRA wanted to present to the citizens of the United States during World War II. A number of photographs exist in 5 x 7 format and as enlargements that one assumes were made for public exhibition. The photographs, presumably created for public exhibition, and the captions accompanying them written by WRA staff, present an idealistic view of the relocation centers which clashes greatly with the harsh realities detailed by many survivors and historians in the decades following the internment.
    The collection contains approximately 7000 photographs and 317 Kodachrome slides which have been arranged into 18 series (described below). Series 1-6 and 8-11 document day-to-day life and activities in $individual relocation centers in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Arkansas as captured by WRA photographers. The remaining series cover pre-evacuation activities in California only; relocation of evacuees in various states; assembly centers in California; and resettlement activities, primarily in California cities. Most of the photographs are well captioned with information on the photographer, place, date, people, and activities featured in the photographs. Series 18 consists of Kodachrome slides for the WRA lecture "The Wrong Ancestors", and slides of the Granada and Central Utah relocation centers.
    Among the WRA photographers is Dorothea Lange. There are 691 photographs by Lange in the collection, 209 of the Manzanar Relocation Center (Series 8), and 482 of pre-evacuation activities in California cities (Series 14). Other WRA photographers include Francis Stewart, Hikaru Iwasaki, Joe McClelland, Tom Parker, Charles E. Mace, Gretchen Van Tassel, and others.
    The bulk of the photographs are 5 x 7 inch black and white prints that are housed in 88 volumes. One additional box contains oversize enlargements. In the container listing these enlargements are referred to as being in volume "AX1". Seven additional boxes (stored off-site) contain oversize enlargements duplicating photographs in the volumes.
    There is currently no concordance for these oversize duplicates.