(Carson, CA) – California State University, Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) Donald R. Beverly J. Gerth Archives and Special Collections has received a two-year $238,520 archival grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to continue its work on the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project (CSUJAD).
The NHPRC grant will support a project that makes accessible online 10,400 archival records from 19 collections featuring 20th century Japanese American history held at eight institutions throughout California.
The project, which began June 1, will digitize such artifacts as photographs, manuscript collections from families and organizations, and oral histories from the 1920s through the 1980s with emphasize on the United States’ incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.
“The archives is thrilled to be able to continue its work in documenting the lives of Japanese Americans in the 20th century,” said Greg Williams, director of the Gerth Archives and principal investigator for the project. “In addition to digitization, we are able to provide programs for students and the public as part of our community outreach efforts.”
Since its launch in 2014, close to 20 institutions, including 15 California State University campuses, have contributed materials from their archives to the CSUJAD. Approximately 20,000 objects have been scanned and cataloged to date.
Partnering with CSUDH on the NHPRC project are CSU Fullerton’s Center for Oral History; CSU Stanislaus; the Historical Society of Long Beach; Claremont Colleges; Palos Verdes Public Library; Eastern California Museum; and the Go For Broke National Education Center. Densho, an organization also committed to preserving Japanese American history, will partner with project participants to build a names registry, a searchable online database of those who were incarcerated and placed in camps during WWII.
Other activities planned with the NHPRC grant include the creation of a resource guide about the virtual archive and its contents, workshops hosted at CSUDH for its students and local high school students, and two community “scanning days” during which the public will be invited to bring personal materials for scanning and inclusion in the CSUJAD. The digitalized materials and descriptive metadata will also be shared with Calisphere, the Digital Public Library of America, and Densho.
To fund the CSUJAD and specific projects, CSUDH has previously received a $100,000 archival grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program in 2016; a two-year $321,554 grant from the U.S. National Park Service in 2015; two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities; and a $39,200 grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation in March 2017.
“Community outreach has resulted in close to 20 new collections coming into the archives over the last few years,” said Williams. “The children of the citizens who were incarcerated during World War II continue to donate materials, while others loan their materials to the archives for scanning. They recognize the importance of their parents’ historic papers and other items, and have found the archives to be the ideal place to preserve them.”
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About California State University, Dominguez Hills
California State University, Dominguez Hills, centrally located in the greater Los Angeles South Bay region, is a model urban university with a wide range of academic programming, providing accessible, high quality, and transformative education to students aspiring to succeed and thrive in a complex, global society. Since 1960, CSU Dominguez Hills has served a diverse community of learners and educators collaborating to change lives and communities for the better. A national model and laboratory for student success, the university offers a proven path to opportunity and social equity, advancing a college-focused culture in the communities it serves while providing vital resources of knowledge, talent, and leadership to the greater Los Angeles region and beyond. Today, CSU Dominguez Hills boasts over 100,000 alumni – doctors, scientists, engineers, educators, entrepreneurs – who are leaders in education, health, technology, entertainment, public service, and business, making a difference in their fields, in people’s lives, and in their communities. For more information, visit www.csudh.edu.