Berkeley announces ‘Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlment Study Digital Archive’

The University of California, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library has announced the publication of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Digital Archive.

The National Park Service funded the two-year digitization project as part of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

The archive “makes available nearly 100,000 original manuscript items from The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study,” which began in 1942 at UC Berkeley, a statement issued by the library, said.

The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study began in 1942 at the university. The research project aimed to “document” the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans by “embedding Nisei social science students recruited from the Berkeley campus into selected internment sites.”

The collection includes daily journals, field reports, life histories, extensive correspondence between staff, inmates and others, and secondary research materials that the research staff collected and compiled.

The study also documented the resettlement phase in Chicago.

The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Digital Archive Website, http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/jais, provides access to research materials through text searches and browsing options, visual mechanisms including GIS tagging and interactive maps, a timeline and pointers to related resources, the statement said.

The JERS staff concentrated on Tule Lake, Calif. Gila River, Ariz., and Poston, Ariz., with a minor focus on Topaz (Central) Utah, Manzanar, and Minidoka, Idaho. Materials were also gathered from temporary detention centers, primarily the Tanforan and Tulare centers located in California. A complete list of confinement sites and temporary detention centers is available on the National Park Service Website: http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/anthropology74.

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