May 19, 2022

Digitization Projects: Bancroft Library to Expand Documentation of Japanese Americans' World War II

From a University of California, Berkeley,  Announcement:

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, has received two grants from the U.S. National Park Service to expand its efforts documenting the World War II era experiences of Japanese Americans.

A $50,000 grant will underwrite work by The Bancroft’s Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) to find Japanese Americans who were interned during the war and conduct audio and video interviews with them. The interviews will be posted on the ROHO website, supplementing the office’s existing World War II Homefront interview series.

This photo of the federal Exclusion Order mandating the internment of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II was taken by famed photographer Dorothea Lange. Photo courtesy of The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.

Meanwhile, a $220,493 grant will further The Bancroft’s efforts to digitize and make available online the library’s extensive Japanese American internment materials, and to integrate the resources into a new digital archive that will serve as a central resource for students of the Japanese-American evacuation and resettlement.


The Bancroft’s three-phased, six-year plan to create a comprehensive virtual archive on the Japanese American internment will begin with the scanning of more than 99,000 documents in the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study Records that date back to 1930.

The documents will be added to the Online Archives of California (OAC), and a thematic website will lead users to the data through such tools as GIS tagging and interactive maps. The project’s second phase will involve digitizing still more holdings, including five hours of moving-image film, 1,500 photos, maps, broadsides and drawings, and 21 hours of audio and video oral history interviews. The third phase will concentrate on digitizing 185,250 records kept in the National Archives holdings of the War Relocation Authority.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.