Story Education

Campus Archives Commemorate Incarceration of Japanese Americans

Elizabeth Chapin



​​Archives at several California State University campuses will be hosting exhibits to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Participating campus archives will be sharing documents, photos and oral histories that have been digitized as an outcome of the CSU Japanese American Digitization Project, a collaboration of 15 CSU campuses that are digitizing nearly 15,000 documents and more than 100 oral histories related to the confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II.

The project was launched in 2015 thanks to a $320,000 grant awarded by the National Park Service to help preserve and interpret World War II confinement of Japanese Americans.

Many campuses throughout the CSU system were located near California's incarceration camps and Japanese American communities. Throughout the last half century, their archives, libraries, oral history projects and history departments have collected archival and manuscript materials, objects, and media relating to Japanese internment.

"CSU campuses have a wealth of information on this significant part of our history," said CSU Dominguez Hills Director of Archives and Special Collections Greg Williams, who is coordinating the statewide project. "By digitizing it, we're ensuring that it can be studied for generations to come."

The project has made these materials available on a CSU-sponsored website. Williams also recently received a grant from National Endowment for the Humanities to continue the effort and create a teaching guide and traveling exhibit for schools and the public.

The CSU Japanese American Digitization Project includes archives at Bakersfield, Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, East Bay, Fresno, Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento, San Jose, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, and Sonoma.

Learn more about the CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project at

Download educational posters​ created for the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066.​