Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records
BANC MSS 67/14 c  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Alternative Form of Materials Available
  • Arrangement Note
  • Historic Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Note
  • Related Collections
  • Scope and Contents
  • Separated Material
  • Publication Rights
  • Other Finding Aid

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
    Title: Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 67/14 c
    Physical Description: 250.5 linear feet (335 boxes, 84 cartons, 41 oversize volumes (folios), 7 oversize folders, 2 oversize boxes; 380 microfilm reels; 5,660 digital objects)
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1974
    Date (bulk): 1942-1946
    Abstract: The collections consists of surplus copies of the U.S. War Relocation Authority agency documents, including publications, staff papers, reports, correspondences, press releases, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks and a few photographs. Included is the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study, University of California, Berkeley, 1942-1946, containing evacuee diaries and letters and staff correspondence, reports and studies.
    Language of Material: 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.


    The collection is open for research with restrictions. Digital surrogates and/or microfilm are to be used instead of originals. Use of originals is permitted only by written permission of the curator.

    Acquisition Information

    The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records are primarily comprised of two separate donations. The War Relocation Authority (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 records of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) were deposited in the University Library by Dorothy Swaine Thomas in August 1948. In addition records were donated by Alexander H. Leighton, author and director of the Bureau of Sociological Research at the Colorado River Relocation Center, 1942-1942; Rev. Galen M. Fisher donated his collection of correspondences and newspaper clippings; various public officials in California including Governor Culbert Olson and Attorney General Earl Warren; and authors Jacobus tenBroek, Edward N. Barnhart, and Floyd W. Matson donated their materials used in preparation for the book "Prejudice, War, and the Constitution" (1954). Between 1954-1955, Edward N. Barnhart integrated the two collections and created an inventory; the resulting collection was transferred to The Bancroft Library on July 3, 1963. Additions were made in October 1977 (by Conrad Taeuber, Director) and in 1988 (by Ann R. Miller) of materials recovered after Dorothy Thomas's death, in 1977, from her office at the Center for Population Research in Washington, D.C.

    Alternative Form of Materials Available

    Digital reproductions of selected material are available. The collection is also on 380 microfilm reels.

    Arrangement Note

    The records are arranged chronologically by subject, maintaining the original arrangement by Edward N. Barnhart in 1954-1955 and presented in "Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: Catalog of Material in the General Library" (1958). Barnhart created each series, classified as a Part that corresponds to the major phases of the evacuation. Each Part is divided into Sections. The Part divisions were primarily event-related; Section divisions were subject or organization based. Folders within each Section were assigned an arbitrary letter/number classification.
    Before being transferred to the Bancroft Library, in 1966, the collection was in the Documents Department of the General Library. A supplement to Barnhart's catalog was prepared by the Manuscripts Division, "Japanese American evacuation and resettlement records 67/14 c, Report and Key to Arrangement." The supplement listed material not included in the Barnhart catalog, primary form the incorporation of The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) into the collection.
    The finding aid created in 1996 supersedes the Barnhart catalog and supplement. The finding aid retained Barnhart's arrangement of Parts and Sections, further dividing the contents of the Sections by subject. Additionally, JERS material was incorporated into the Sections as applicable. Barnhart's arrangement and numbering system was retained to facilitate the transition from his inventory of original material to the finding aid that linked to the microfilmed materials and was based on a reprocessed, expanded, and rehoused collection. Beginning in 2011, as the material was digitized the digital objects were linked to the corresponding record.
    In general, documents are still located under their original Part and Section designations. However, identical material appearing in more than one place in the collection was retained in the most appropriate Section or, if not readily apparent, in the folder in which it first appears.
    Letter/number designations, on folders, within the Sections may be significantly different from the Barnhart inventory. Folder contents may have been split into two or more numbers to permit a more accurate description of material including office of origination, name of author, title, and date of creation if the information is available. Multiple numbers for a single type of material were often eliminated by using multiple folders under one number. Examples of these include minutes of a particular organization, such as block managers meetings. Divisional closing reports have been pulled together and listed as "final reports," usually at the end of the WRA segment for each center.
    Folder numbers eliminated (due to duplication of material) in processing have sometimes been reassigned to other material and new numbers have been created in order to insert material at appropriate places. Part V (W's), which consists of material received after Barnhart's inventory was created, has been arranged into Parts, Sections, and assigned arbitrary letter/number designations to correspond with Barnhart's system. Within folders, material is arranged chronologically when appropriate. Throughout the Container Listing, real names of individuals have been listed rather than the pseudonyms used extensively by the Study, if available.
    Although Bancroft's WRA records were originally thought to be duplicates of The National Archives' collection, Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946: Field Basic Documentation, the two collections are not identical. The Bancroft Library holds a copy of the National Archives (NARA) microfilm (cataloged as BANC FILM 1932). The materials in the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records collection have been compared with the NARA film in order to prevent microfilm duplication of documents. In cases where the National Archives film included materials in the Bancroft's collection, the container listing notes their location on the NARA film inside bold square brackets [NARA Reel __, Folder __] following the item description.
    Throughout the Container List, section titles with identifying letters are given first, followed by microfilm reel numbers, followed by box and folder numbers of the original materials. Specific microfilm reel and frame numbers are provided at the item level. If available, a digital reproduction of the material appears below the description. Appendix A contains a correlation of box and file numbers of originals.
    When the finding aid was created, in some instances, notable items within folders may have been described to increase their discoverability. These appear as child records under a parent record. In the early phases of digitization TEI standards were used. Notable items within folders may have been digitized rather than the content of the entire folder. In later phases of digitization, FADGI standards were used and the content of the entire folder was digitized, usually as a PDF file. In instances in which a TEI and PDF file was created, due to constraints, a duplicate record was created with [digital file of entire folder] added at the end of the title. In these instances, there is a note: "contents originally digitized using TEI standards. Contents re-digitized using FADGI standards available under. . ." or "contents re-digitized using FADGI standards available under. . . ." Additionally, in many instances, when there are notable items described but no TEI file, there is a note: "folder contains:" before the title to indicate that the contents are included in a PDF file. There are also instances where there is no addendum in the title (a notable item was originally described but not digitized in the early phases), however the contents were digitized in later phases and appear in the digital file of the parent record.

    Historic Note

    U.S War Relocation Authority

    On February 19, 1942, two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, leading to the assembly, evacuation and relocation of over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. From March 1942-1946 the U.S War Relocation Authority (WRA) had jurisdiction over those evacuated from their homes in California, Oregon, Washington and southern Arizona. 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.
    Japanese and Japanese Americans were taken to assembly centers while awaiting reassignment to a relocation camp. The WRA operated ten camps: Manzanar, California; Tule Lake in Newell, California; Topaz (Central Utah) in Delta, Utah; Gila River in Rivers, Arizona; Poston (Colorado River) in Parker, Arizona; Granada in Amache, Colorado; Heart Mountain in Cody, Wyoming; Minidoka in Hunt, Idaho; Jerome in Denson, Arkansas; and Rohwer in McGehee, Arkansas. The evacuees had to sell or abandon their property, taking only what they could carry with them to the camps. The WRA sought to implemented educational programs, recreation facilities, newspapers, and other elements of community life within the camps.
    The WRA issued loyalty tests in 1943. Those who were designated "disloyal" were segregated to the Tule Lake camp and treated as enemies of the State. In February, 1944, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9742 that officially terminated the WRA and the government began to release individuals deemed "loyal" Americans. Several months later, in December, President Roosevelt rescinded Executive Order 9066 and the WRA began releasing internees to resettlement facilities and temporary housing. By 1945 the majority of evacuees were released. In 1945 Imperial Japan surrendered, ending World War II. The last camp operated by WRA, Tule Lake, closed in 1946.

    The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study

    To study the effects of mass incarceration of Japanese Americans, in 1942, sociologist professor Dorothy Swaine Thomas at University of California, Berkeley, organized the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). The Study recruited and placed UC Berkeley professors and Nisei social science students into selected WRA sites: assembly centers, camps and resettlement communities. JERS ran until the end of the World War II.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records, BANC MSS 67/14 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Processing Note

    Processed by E. Stephens, 1994-1996. Processing completed by project staff of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Project.
    May 6, 1997, this electronic finding aid was updated to current markup standards by Gabriela A. Montoya using a perl script. Updates include: FPI's, EADHEADER, EADID, CUTSPEC, arrangement of DID elements and their labels, etc.
    Revised January 8, 2005, EAD v1.0 finding aid converted to EAD 2002 using UC Berkeley's eadv1to2002.pl perl script. Revised January 28, 2005, EAD v2002 finding aid upgraded to OAC BPG 2.0 using UC Berkeley's bpgifier.pl perl script. Significant changes include: Replaced all instances of @entityref with @href Reordered many top-level elements for consistency, grouping several into two new descgrp elements Changed many top-level element heads for consistency.
    Revised 2019 by L. Hernandez with consultation by the Head of Archival Processing, L. Michels, under a NPS grant that included revising the finding aid to better reflect the contents and arrangement of the collection, updating access restrictions and locations, and linking digital objects to the records.

    Related Collections

    Title: Wayne M. Collins Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 78/177 c
    Title: Morton Grodzins, Political Aspects of the Japanese Evacuation
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 71/169 c
    Title: Rosalie H. Wax Papers Regarding Tule Lake Relocation Center
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 83/115 c
    Title: Culbert L. Olson Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-B 442
    Title: California Attorney General's Office
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-A 172
    Title: Carey McWilliams Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-H 46
    Title: Pacific Coast Committee on American Principles and Fair Play
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-A 171
    Title: Galen Merriam Fisher Correspondence
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 86/179 c
    Title: War Relocation Authority Photographs
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC PIC 1967.014
    Title: Records of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946: Field Basic Documentation Located at the National Archives...[microform]
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC FILM 1932

    Scope and Contents

    Scope and Content Note

    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 the West Coast by the Western Defense Command, the Fourth Army, and the Wartime Civilian Control Administration (WCCA). Included in their records are administrative files, official publications, reports and surveys, legal papers, correspondence, and occasionally, photographs and scrapbooks. Divisions and offices represented encompass the Washington, D.C. head office, Western Field Office, district and area resettlement offices, the ten relocation centers, Leupp isolation center, and the Bureau of Sociological Research. Also included are miscellaneous materials from other Federal and State agencies involved with the internment, including the Western Defense Command and WCCA.
    Part One covers the initial phase of the evacuation that included the exclusion of Japanese and Japanese Americans from the West Coast by the Western Defense Command; the assembly centers operated by the Wartime Civilian Control Administration; transfers to the relocation centers (camps) and the creation of the War Relocation Authority. Included with Part One are JERS material including studies, reports, and analyses. Additional JERS material are found in Part Five.
    Part Two contains the second phase of the evacuation during which individuals were held in the relocation centers and allowed to resettle under supervision in the eastern states. Documentation from the Washington Office headquarters includes annual reports, pamphlets, correspondences, and reports from administrative units. There is material from the district and field offices or regional offices and documents from the relocation centers. The relocation center material consists of documents from administrative officials and organization units relating to policy and operations; center administration dealing with major events including registration, Selective Service, and disturbances such as strikes; studies on center evens, polices and attitudes; diaries, correspondences and other personal writings by evacuees; and publications of the evacuees including newspapers.
    Part Three includes the third phase of the evacuation beginning with the lifting of the Army's mass-exclusion order in 1944; the release of evacuees and the establishment of the Army's individual exclusion program that ended in 1946 when the last relocation center closed.
    Part Four comprised vital statistics and life records.
    Part Five consists of material from JERS including staff working papers, correspondences, reports and tabulations.
    Material format includes manuscripts, booklets, scrapbooks, images, construction documents, index cards, portfolios, posters, maps and rosters. Additionally, the collection contains portfolios of Form WRA-26 in which personal descriptive information on all individuals evacuated and relocated was captured. Data from the forms was transferred to punch cards. Information from these forms is available in the National Archives Database of Japanese American Evacuees.

    Scope and Content Note

    The JERS material is 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.
    Often extensive accounts of camp life come in the form of journals, diaries, and field reports. In addition, staff compiled case histories, conducted interviews with evacuees and WRA staff, studied group behavior, and performed statistical surveys. The JERS administrative records contain extensive correspondence with field workers, staff, evacuees, and others.
    Throughout the collection are gatherings of primary and secondary research materials collected by Dorothy Swaine Thomas, and her staff, particularly Rosalie Hankey Wax and Morton Grodzins. These include reports, surveys, theses, and other writings. Correspondence indicates that at least two persons gave significant amounts of material to the Study. Galen M. Fisher sent Dorothy Thomas material concerning his work with Japanese American student relocation and with organizations concerned about the human rights issues surrounding internment; the Galen M. Fisher files comprise Part II, Section 13. Alexander H. Leighton sent the Study his office files from the Bureau of Sociological Research at Poston in October of 1944; the Bureau's files (formerly cataloged as BANC MSS 72/233) follow the JERS material in Part II, Section 5: Poston Relocation Center.
    Several separately catalogued segments of the collection identified during initial processing and microfilming. They have been reincorporated into the collection at appropriate places. Part II, Section 5: Poston includes a set of seven high school scrapbooks (formerly BANC MSS C-A 195). Part V includes former BANC MSS 89/46 c, which contained the original typescript copies of Rosalie Hankey Wax's field notes and miscellaneous reports done by Hankey for JERS; and, former BANC MSS 78/53 c consisting of miscellaneous correspondence and research regarding the Study. Both collections were given to The Bancroft Library after Dorothy Thomas's death in 1977.

    War Relocation Authority photographs

    The War Relocation Authority photographs were transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library and are cataloged as: War Relocation Authority Photographs: Evacuation and Resettlement (BANC PIC 1967.014). The photographic collection contains approximately 7000 photographs covering pre-evacuation, evacuation, assembly centers, relocation, life in the "relocation centers," segregation, and the resettlement program. These photographs have been digitized and will be available online in the Heller Reading Room of The Bancroft Library.

    Digital Archive

    The Bancroft Library was awarded the first of several grants by the National Park Service's Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program in 2011 to digitize nearly 250,000 primary source materials that focus on the Japanese American experience during World War II. Since the initial grant, the collection has continued to be digitized from subsequent grants, awarded from NPS, which are available on the Online Archive of California and Calisphere.
    The first project (2011-2014) created the Japanese American Evacuation & Resettlement Study Digital Archive, digitizing nearly 100,000 records from JERS. The second project (2014-2017) developed Voices in Confinement: A Digital Archive of Japanese American Internees, digitizing 150,000 items focusing on material created by Internees. Manuscripts and pictorial collections from Yoshiko Uchida, Hisako Hibi, the Ikeda family, Rosalie Was, and Wayne Collins are included along with images from the War Relocation Authority Photograph collection. The third project (2015-2018) produced Japanese American Internment Sites: A Digital Archive, digitizing material from ten internment camps within the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records (BANC MSS 67/14c). The collection represents the official documentation of the War Relocation Authority agency, 1942-1946. The fourth phase of the project (2018-2020) continued to digitize nearly 150,000 items from the collection, focusing on the WRA records and enhancing the finding aid.

    Separated Material

    1. Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
    2. Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library and cataloged as War Relocation Authority Photographs: Evacuation and Resettlement (BANC PIC 1967.014).
    3. Videotapes, sound recordings, and motion pictures have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of the Bancroft Library.
    4. Master 9 track tape (box 336 and box 337) were transferred to Digital collections BANC DIG.
    5. Maps have been transferred to the Map Room of the Main Library.
    6. Selected government documents may have been transferred to the Main Library.

    Publication Rights

    Some materials in these collections 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. For additional information about the University of California, Berkeley Library's permissions policy please see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/about/permissions-policies.

    Other Finding Aid

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    School records
    Case files
    Federal government records.
    Vital statistics records
    Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
    Japanese Americans--History--20th century
    Japanese--United States--History--20th century
    World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans
    World War, 1939-1945--Evacuation of civilians--United States
    Miyamoto, Shotaro Frank, 1912-
    Leighton, Alexander H. (Alexander Hamilton), 1908-
    Fisher, Galen Merriam, 1873-1955
    Nishimoto, Richard S. (Richard Shigeaki), 1904-1956
    Thomas, Dorothy Swaine Thomas, 1899-
    University of California, Berkeley. Japanese Evacuation and Resettlement Study
    United States. War Relocation Authority
    Online Archive of California
    Grodzins, Morton
    Central Utah Relocation Center
    Bureau of Sociological Research (Poston, Ariz.)
    Kikuchi, Charles
    Gila River Relocation Center
    Poston Relocation Center (Poston, Ariz.)
    Granada Relocation Center
    Heart Mountain Relocation Center (Wyo.)
    Manzanar War Relocation Center
    Minidoka Relocation Center
    Tule Lake Relocation Center
    Leupp Isolation Center (Winslow, Ariz.)
    Jerome Relocation Center (Denson, Ark.)
    Rohwer Relocation Center (Rohwer, Ark.)