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The Bancroft Library Guide to Japanese American Internment, Relocation and Resettlement Records: Home

A guide to the collections held at The Bancroft Library relating to Japanese American Interment during World War II


This guide is intended to provide users with digital archival resources on the Japanese American Internment, Relocation and Resettlement at The Bancroft Library. Between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast, were incarcerated in camps located in the western interior of the country during World War II. Since 1945, The Bancroft Library has collected and received resources relating to these specific communities.


This guide provides a relatively simple way to begin research into The Bancroft Library's digitized collection of Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement records. It should be noted that in addition to digital objects, the collection contains physical items, and there are microfilm copies available at The Bancroft Library. The digitized versions are available in Berkeley Digital Collections, the Online Archive of California, and Calisphere.

Please note, that while we have listed many resources in this guide, it is not exhaustive and does not include all the resources related to Japanese American Internment and Relocation held at The Bancroft Library. Anyone doing in-depth research should look closely at the catalog for items not included in this guide and consider consulting with The Bancroft Library staff in order to find all possible sources.

For reference assistance please contact: 

For in-depth reference assistance or class instruction please contact:

Users are invited to note any resources that are misidentified or misrepresented in any part of this guide and to notify us directly at


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Temporary housing project, Santa Ana, California, 1945

Where to look

All of our materials may be searched on Oskicat (the University of California Berkeley Library’s online catalog). The catalog description will include information about the creator, the extent of the collection, subjects, any access and use restrictions, collection-specific notes, and also will indicate the location of the material (onsite, NRLF).

More extensive groupings of materials, including manuscripts and pictorial material, may have detailed finding aids that will provide more detailed information about the contents of the collection. Manuscript and archival collections are often quite voluminous and contain unique materials, a finding aid (e.g. inventory, box list, or other summaries of the intellectual organization) of the collection is often available to help a researcher determine the contents of the materials. Finding aids provide an overview of how the collection is organized. It often includes a biographical or historical note about the creator, a scope and content note about what is in the collection, and a container listing. Most of these are available online at the Online Archive of California (OAC). If there is an online version of the finding aid you will see a link to it in the catalog record.

Calisphere is the University of California's free gateway to primary sources. Calisphere's content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations. Content includes digital images of material available via the OAC and provides easy access to material via its straightforward keyword searching option.


Berkeley Digital Collections provides online access to UC Berkeley Library’s rare and unique digitized special collections, books, manuscripts, images, photographs, newspapers, and more.

When physical items or microfilm copies are available to the public, they can be accessed through the Bancroft Library itself. For more information about viewing items at the Bancroft Library, please visit the Bancroft Library's website.

Additionally, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Digital Archive website describes the digital content which may be accessed through the Berkeley Digital Collections, Online Archive of California, and Calisphere websites. The website also includes audio and video material.

For more information on using the Finding Aids on the OAC see:


oskicat   Bancroft logo     Online Archive of California    calisphere logo

About The Bancroft Library

The Bancroft Library is a major research center and repository for documenting Japanese American Evacuation & Resettlement. In 1945, the War Relocation Authority (WRA) designated the University of California, Berkeley Library as the prime custodians for WRA records outside the National Archives. These documents were combined with the records of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley to create the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records (BANC MSS 67/14 c). With the addition of personal records, Bancroft’s holdings provide an unprecedented picture of the Japanese American community, who demonstrated strength and resilience throughout their displacement and internment during World War II.

The Bancroft Library is the primary special collections library at the University of California, Berkeley. One of the largest and most heavily used libraries of manuscripts, rare books, and unique materials in the United States, Bancroft supports major research and instructional activities and plays a leading role in the development of the University's research collections. We are located on the east side of Doe Library, just northwest of the Campanile.


Bancroft Library entrance
Photograph of Entrance to the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley