(Carson, CA) – California State University, Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) Donald R. and Beverly J. Gerth Archives and Special Collections has received $282,102 from the National Parks Service’s (NPS) World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program to continue its work on the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project (CSUJAD).
The JACS grant will fund the digitization of several recently donated collections that include approximately 7,000 archival items related to the incarceration of 120,000 Americans during WWII. The new collections resulted from outreach efforts during the CSUDJAD’s previous two-year NPS grant in 2015.
“We are thrilled with this latest National Parks Service grant, and that the CSUJAD project continues to be recognized for its success in building this vital online database and promoting strong collaboration among archives statewide,” said Greg Williams, director of the Gerth Archives and principle investigator for the grant. “The CSUJAD team takes pride in making these important images and records from American history readily available to the public.”
The CSUJAD project’s mission is to improve access to CSU archival collections on the history of Japanese Americans and to develop a functional model for ongoing planning and collaboration among the CSU archival and library communities. More than 35,000 items from over 20 institutions across California have been digitized since its launch. The project has been funded by several grants since 2014, totaling $1.4 million.
Items from the new collections that will be digitalized with the JACS grant include: personal WWII Japanese incarceration camp photographs and letters; items from pre-WWII Japanese American farm communities in Sacramento; war correspondence of noted Japanese activist Fred Korematsu; oral histories based on memories from several camps; and items from the San Pedro’s Terminal Island community, and the “anti-internment” movement.
The following institutions are participating in the JACS grant: CSU Sacramento, CSU Fullerton, CSU Dominguez Hills, the California Historical Society, and the Eastern California Museum. Each archive will supervise the digitization of their archival records and then submit them to the CSUJAD portal at CSUDH.
“The tireless work of our archives staff and the successful outreach to the community has allowed us to continue this worthwhile project,” said Williams. “As the project has matured, it has been heartening to see how students, scholars, and the public have used this important resource.”