530K Primary Resources Now Available Online through The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive

Map of Minidoka War Relocation Center.
BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder P1.05, Blueprints and charts, general layout, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

The Bancroft Library has recently completed the digitization of nearly 150,000 items related to the confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II as part of a two-year effort to select, prepare, and digitize these primary source records as part of a grant supported by the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. This program helps to support the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. This recent project, The Japanese American Internment Sites: A Digital Archive, represents our fourth grant from this program, which together have culminated in over 530,000 primary resource materials being made available online.

Annual Report cover with image of Arizona landscape.
BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder fJ2.18, Annual report, photograph album, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

The project focused on the U.S. War Relocation Authority (WRA) files from the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records (BANC MSS 67/14 c). The WRA was created in 1942 to assume jurisdiction over the incarceration of Japanese Americans during the war. Between 1942-1946, the agency managed the relocation centers, administered an extensive resettlement program, and oversaw the details of the registration and segregation programs. These newly digitized records from the Washington Office headquarters and the district, field, and regional offices, formally document WRA management of internment of Japanese Americans in “relocation” centers and resettlement of approved individuals under supervision in the eastern states. Digitized materials document the registration of individuals; disturbances such as strikes; policies and attitudes; daily life in the camps including educational and employment programs; correspondences and other writings by evacuees; Japanese American service in the armed forces; and public opinion.

Out of the Desert cover with a red cross and image of desert landscape.
Poston I High School, “Out of the Desert”, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder fJ2.92B, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Topaz Scrap Book cover.
BANC MSS 67/14c, folder fH1.46, Topaz scrapbook, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Since 2011, the Bancroft has been awarded four grants from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. The previous grants have digitized records from the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study and archival collections selected from individual internee’s personal papers, photographs, maps, artworks, and audiovisual materials. The Bancroft’s Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive website (http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/jacs) brings together all the digitized content and the recently published LibGuide (https://guides.lible.berkeley.edu/internment) that explains how to use and access these collection resources.

As we now embark on our recently awarded fifth grant from this program, we look forward to bringing even more collections online to support researcher access. We are honored and grateful to be able to make these important resources available to help interpret this period in American history and to preserve them for future generations.

 

Page of a typewritten report.
BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder E2.91, Miller, Ray, Evolution of a Wartime Procedures Manual, Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records 1930-1974, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

The project was led by digital project archivist Lucy Hernandez and principal investigator Mary Elings, Assistant Director of Bancroft and Head of Technical Services. Special thanks to Julie Musson, digital collections archivist at Bancroft and Jennafer Prongos, BackStage Library Works technician for their work on this project, as well as support from Theresa Salazar, Bancroft curator of Western Americana. Many thanks to the Library Information Technology group at the University Library for their work in managing the files, maintaining the information systems used in the project, and ensuring the publication and long term preservation of the digitized collections through our partnership with the California Digital Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.  


Scenic Views, Civic Pride, and Silly Gags: Edward H. Mitchell Postcards at The Bancroft Library

We all feel our wings are clipped this holiday season, but you can enjoy a tour around turn-of-the-century California, journey up the Pacific Coast, around the American West, or even visit Hawaii and the Philippines, thanks to newly published content on the Berkeley Library’s Digital Collections site.

Over 10,000 postcards issued by San Francisco publisher Edward H. Mitchell, circa 1898-1920, are now online. This nearly-comprehensive collection was compiled over many decades by Walt Kransky, who generously donated it to The Bancroft Library. Walt’s website has been the go-to site for collectors interested in Mitchell cards; there he compiled a checklist of all known Mitchell postcards, whether he owned examples or not. And he did own the vast majority!

Color postcard, circa 1905, of the exterior of a Victorian hotel on the floor of Yosemite Valley, among evergreen trees
Sentinel Hotel, Yosemite Valley, California
Color postcard of well-dressed crowds on the beach at Long Beach, with pier in background, circa 1905
Beach and Sun Pavilion, Long Beach, California

Must-see tourist sites from Yosemite to Southern California beaches and the mountains and forests of the Northwest are in abundance, but so are local industries, agriculture, and countless examples of small town pride.

Color postcard, circa 1900, of a Southern California ostrich farm and feather factory.
Feather Factory, Cawston Ostrich Farm, South Pasadena, California.
Color postcard of a factory wth workers and many dead salmon to be canned.
Interior of a Salmon Cannery, Bellingham, Washington
Color postcard, circa 1905, of a hayfield and three large barns in the distance, near Hollister, California
Largest Hay Warehouses in the World, Hollister, California

There is quite a range of court houses, schools, asylums, and even irrigation works on view.

Color postcard, circa 1900-1910, of courhouse building exterior
Placer County Court House, Auburn, Cal.
Color postcard, circa 1905, of a Spanish Mission Style high school in Watsonville, California
High School, Watsonville, California
Black and white photographic postcard of a concrete irrigation canal in a flat and treeless landscape near Patterson, California
Irrigation canal – Patterson, Cal. (a “real photo postcard”)

Period humor, for better or worse, is a recurring feature.

Color postcard, circa 1905, of the Alameda County Jail with humorous text printed in upper left, suggestive of a hotel advertisement
Alameda County Jail, Oakland, California. (words added — Barnet Hotel)
Humorous color postcard, circa 1905, of an enormous watermelon that fills and entire flatbed railroad car
A California Watermelon
Color cartoon postcard with a giant sequoia tree at left and a giant beet (vegetable) at right with two "beat cops" asleep on it, making a pun about beets and beat cops
San Francisco. There are Big Trees in California. Also big vegetables. I saw two policemen asleep on one beat

In addition to great images, Kransky’s Mitchell collection provides insight into the business of early postcard production. This was a new form when 1898 “Private Mailing Cards” were first issued as  “authorized by act of Congress.”

Front (picture side) of a color postcard, circa 1898, of large Victorian resort hotel, with writing around the sides of the image
Hotel Del Monte, Monterey County, Cal. (front of postcard)
Back side, for address only, of early postcard with "Private Mailing Card" text and reference to 1898 act of Congress authorizing postcards
(Back of postcard referencing 1898 Act of Congress:) Hotel Del Monte, Monterey County, Cal.

Walt Kransky arranged his collection by back type and imprint style and he collected duplicates of given images in all their various styles of presentation. This variety, all from a single publisher, offers great opportunity for scholarship and close studies of visual culture early in the 20th century.

So, whatever your interest, make a cup of cocoa and enjoy an armchair tour, courtesy the Walter Robert and Gail Lynn Kransky collection of Edward H. Mitchell postcards at The Bancroft Library!

Color postcard, in red and green, of poinettia blossoms and leaves
Poinsettia Blossoms

 

Many Library staff collaborated to bring this collection online. Bancroft curatorial and acquisitions staff worked with the donor to preserve this collection at Berkeley, and hundreds of hours of work on descriptive data and inventory alignment were carried out in Bancroft Technical Services’ Pictorial Unit. Library Imaging Services created the thousands of high resolution scans, and the descriptions and images were linked together and brought online through the efforts of Library IT. Most importantly, thanks are due to Walt and Gail Kransky for their generosity, his decades of collecting, and the years of expertise he committed to documenting his collection.


Trial: Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlement & Colonial Encounters

Image of people on shore looking out onto a bay with a shipThrough November 30th, the Library has a trial for the digital resource Frontier Life: Borderlands, Settlement & Colonial Encounters.  The scope of the resource, as described on the site:

“The earliest documents in this collection are from the seventeenth century but the majority of the material originates from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The material covering North America covers the varied frontier regions from fur trappers in Canada to cowboys in Texas and government in Baja California. It is divided into the frontier regions of the American East, the American Midwest, the American Southwest, California & Mexico and Canada. It covers the exploration of these regions followed by trade with native peoples, colonial rivalries, expansion of government and new nations and the final settlement and ‘closing’ of the frontier.

Africa is mainly represented by its frontiers of the south with the British colonial expansion into modern day South Africa. There are also excellent clusters of material relating to the exploration of West Africa and the colonial administration of Lagos.

The beginnings of European Australia and New Zealand are covered by British government documents, starting with Arthur Phillip and the penal colony at Sydney. The frontiers of other parts of Australia are also covered by documents from the UK National Archives and some material from Australian archives.

Finally, there is some material relating to Central America, specifically British Honduras (Belize), in the form of the George Arthur Papers. George Arthur’s career here relates to the other regions featured here as he spent time on the Canadian and Australian frontiers.”

 


Primary Sources: Resources on film

Through the Library, you have access to these fairly recently acquired resources:

Independent World Cinema: Classic and Contemporary Film – Includes over 400 documentary and feature films from select American distributors of independent and international film, including Milestone Films, Zeitgeist Films, Pragda, and Oscilloscope.

Docuseek2 – Docuseek2 is a streaming video service featuring social issue and documentary films from independent distributors, including Bullfrog Films, Icarus Films, National Film Board of Canada, and Fanlight. Note: When browsing the platform, you will see film icons next to each title. Grayed out icons indicate Berkeley does not have access to these titles. To view a list limited to titles owned by Berkeley, click the “My Movies” link at the top of the page.

Socialism on Film – This collection of films reveals war, history, current affairs, culture, and society, as seen through the socialist lens. It covers countries such as the USSR, Vietnam, China, Korea, much of Eastern Europe, the GDR, and Cuba.


Primary Sources: Resources on the Middle East

Over the past year the library has acquired new resources on the Middle East and North Africa, which include:

Minorities in the Middle East: Christian minorities, 1838-1967 – A digitized version of 10 volume collection primary source material. It includes original political despatches, correspondence and reports covering: Christian communities in the Levant 1838 to 1955 in overview, and the affairs of the Assyrian communities 1880 to 1951, the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Jacobite, Chaldean and Syrian Catholic communities, and Protestant communities in the Levant and Iraq, in particular, with further detail about the Maronite communities in the Levant 1841 to 1958, and Coptic Christian communities in the Levant and Egypt 1917 to 1967. These volumes also cover the Jeddah murders of 1858 and 1895, and the treatment of Armenians in Turkey and the Levant, including the Armenian massacres during the First World War.

Minorities in the Middle East : Jewish communities in Arab countries, 1841-1974 – A digitized version of a 6 volume collection, which covers the arrangements and conditions for Jewish communities living under Islam, throughout the Arab world, from 1840 to 1974.

Middle Eastern and north African Newspapers – A digital archive of prominent newspapers from the the Middle East and North Africa.

Noor Digital Library – a collection of thousands of full text Persian ebooks in humanities and religious studies. This include history, literature, language, Islam, and philosophy.

NoorMags – One of the largest specialized databases in Islamic Studies and Humanities. It provides full text access to more than 1300 magazines for over a million articles in mainly Persian, with some Arabic and English languages.


Primary Sources: Supreme Court Insight

Home page of databaseProQuest Supreme Court Insight includes full opinions from U.S. Supreme Court argued cases, including decisions, dockets, oral arguments, joint appendices, and amicus briefs from 1975-2017. (The database is still being built, so all dates are not yet covered.)

The search interface provides quick access to case histories, briefs, and landmark cases. An advanced search option provides many more options, allowing you to limit to content types, date ranges or court terms, court of origin, Justice/Opinion type, and Amicus Curiae Briefs.  You can search within the documents for names and organizations, attorney names, Justice names, petitioner names, respondent names, subject, and Supreme Court Case name.  A detailed guide provides searching advice.


Primary Sources: Women and Transnational Networks

picture of women outside a caravan

Issues of gender and class ignited nineteenth-century debate in the context of suffrage movements, culture, immigration, health and many other concerns. Using a wide array of primary source documents—serials, books, manuscripts, diaries, reports, and visuals—Women and Transnational Networks focuses on issues at the intersection of gender and class from the late-eighteenth century to the era of suffrage in the early-twentieth century, all through a transnational perspective. The collection contains deep information on European and North American movements, but also expands its scope to include collections from other regions.

Researchers and scholars will find rare content related to:

  • Social reform movements and groups
  • High and popular culture
  • Literature and the arts
  • Immigration
  • Daily life
  • Religion


Primary Sources: BAMPFA TVTV digitization project

Nany Cain operating a cameraFor the last few years, the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive has been digitizing paper records and almost 450 camera-original open-reel videotapes from Top Value Television (TVTV), a 1970s “guerrilla video” collective based in the Bay Area and later Los Angeles. Highlights from the papers and all the raw footage that was digitized is now available on an interpretive website for the project.


Primary Sources: Leftist Historical Newspapers and Periodicals and Communist Historical Newspapers

ProQuest’s Leftist Historical Newspapers and Periodicals includes publications supporting the ideology of communism, most published in the United States and United Kingdom. Dates of coverage range from 1848 to 1978, with most coverage in the early 20th century. Complete runs of some publications are not available.

The Communist Historical Newspaper Collection provides full-text access to major American communist newspapers. Includes The Daily Worker (1924-1958); The Ohio Socialist (1917-1919); People’s Daily World (1986-1990); People’s Weekly World (1990-2013); Sunday Worker (1936-1958); The Toiler (1919-1922); The Worker (1922-1924); The Worker (1958-1968).


Primary Sources: Resources on South Asia

Area Studies: India is a platform for a wide range of digitized archival collections.

  • Colonial Discourses Series Three – Colonial Fiction, 1712-1933 includes fiction, poetry, drama, and general non-fiction from India, 1712-1933, sourced from the British Library.
  • Curzon, India and Empire – The papers of Lord Curzon (1859-1925) from the British Library include correspondence which documents all aspects of his involvement in the Middle East and South Asia.
  • The Empire Writes Back: Part One – Indian views on Britain and Empire, 1810-1915, from the British Library is a set of rare volumes, mainly printed in India, describing the experiences of Indians who traveled to Britain, France, and America between 1810 and 1915.
  • India During the Raj: Eyewitness Accounts – Diaries and related records describing life in India, 1712-1925.
  • India in the Age of Empire – The Journals of Michael Pakenham Edgeworth (1812-1881) from the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
  • Indian Newspaper Reports, c. 1868-1942 – These printed reports consist of precis and extracts of articles from hundreds of Indian-language titles and English titles published by Indians, compiled for and published by the Indian government.

The Library recently acquired the following U.S. State Department online archives:

India from Crown Rule to Republic, 1945-1949: Records of the US State Department

India-Pakistan Conflict: Records of the US State Department, 1963-1966 (aka Records of the U.S. State Department: India and Pakistan, Political Affairs and Relations, February 1963-1966, Subject-Numeric File POL)

Pakistan from Crown Rule to Republic: Records of the US State Department, 1945-1949