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Finding Aid to the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records, 1930-1974 (bulk 1942-1946)
BANC MSS 67/14 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Description of Parts and Sections

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement records
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1974
    Date (bulk): 1942-1946
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 67/14 c
    Extent: Microfilm: 379 reels Originals: Number of containers: 336 boxes, 84 cartons, 36 oversize volumes (folios), 6 oversize folders Linear feet: 250.5 1612 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
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Consists of surplus copies of U.S. War Relocation Authority documents, including publications, staff papers, reports, correspondence, memoranda, press releases, and a few photographs. Also includes material collected and/or generated by the Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement Study, University of California, Berkeley, including evacuee diaries and letters, and staff correspondence, reports, and studies.
    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


    The collection is open for research with the following restrictions:
    • Microfilm is to be used instead of originals.
    • Use of originals is permitted only by written permission of the curator.

    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 .

    Preferred Citation

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

    Associated Collections

    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

    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

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    • Printed materials have been transferred to the book collection of The Bancroft Library.
    • Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
    • Videotapes, sound recordings, and motion pictures have been transferred to the Microforms Collection of the Bancroft Library.
    • Maps have been transferred to the Map Room of the Main Library.
    • Selected government documents may have been transferred to the Main Library.

    Indexing Terms

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

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records are 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, Director, in August 1948. In 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 from her office at the Center for Population Research in Washington, D.C.


    Overview of Arrangement

    When Edward N. Barnhart integrated the War Relocation Authority Records and the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Records in 1954-1955, he divided the combined collection into Parts and 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. To facilitate the transition from the Barnhart inventory of original material to the new finding aid linked to the microfilmed materials and based on a reprocessed, expanded, and rehoused collection, we have endeavored to retain Barnhart's arrangement and numbering system.
    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 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. Much of the material containing real names is restricted and is so identified by a double asterisk **. Access is provided to these item(s) with the understanding that the identity of evacuees mentioned therein will not be disclosed by the researcher without the express permission of the evacuee. This restriction is in effect until 2015 or until the death of the evacuee named, whichever occurs first. Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

    Processing Information

    Processed by Elizabeth Stephens.

    Scope and Content

    The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records resulted from the integration of two major collections: the records of the War Relocation Authority (WRA) and the records of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) at the University of California, Berkeley. Edward N. Barnhart combined the two collections in 1954-1955. While the resulting combination provides an unprecedented picture of the Japanese-American evacuation, relocation, incarceration, and resettlement during World War II, the collection's size and organization is complex. For help with Barnhart's organizing principles, please read the Overview of Arrangement and the Description of Parts and Sections.

    War Relocation Authority (WRA) Records

    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 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.
    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.
    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.

    The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) Records

    The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS) was established at the University of California, Berkeley in early 1942. Directed by Dorothy Swaine Thomas, the Study monitored the sociological, political, economic, and legal dimensions of the relocation program. Evacuees, hired to document their own and others' experiences, reported on both specific situations and life in general during their stays in the assembly and relocation centers. Their often extensive accounts of camp life come in the form of journals, diaries, and field reports. In addition, they 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 have been identified during processing and microfilming and 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.

    Description of Parts and Sections

    Throughout the Container List, section titles with identifying letters (in italics) 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. Appendix A contains a correlation of box and file numbers of originals.